STILLWATER, Okla. — Since its closing and reorganization in June, Central Community Action Agency Executive Director Rebecca Stone talks about the reopening of the agency after 20 days and the future of the agency’s Mission of Hope Homeless Shelter in Stillwater.
1 What is the Mission of Hope Homeless Shelter and who does it serve?
The overall purpose of the Mission of Hope is to provide a safe and supportive option for those in sudden, real need of housing due to emergency circumstances (loss of job, major medical problems, etc.) and through intensive case management, assist our clients to increase their income, secure affordable housing and increase their skills to maintain self-sufficiency. The Mission of Hope has three types of housing programs: Emergency shelter, the transitional housing program and three apartments for chronically homeless disabled veterans. The program can serve at capacity 46 persons on-site and 15 off-site for a total of 61 persons. The Mission of Hope goes into emergency status with temperatures above 100 degrees, or below freezing.
2 Since closing in June, what changes has the program gone through since the reorganization?
Due to the continued support of the Stillwater community and other partnering agencies, the Mission of Hope has undergone no changes so far during the reorganization. Some limitation on state funding of the Emergency Solutions Grant to the Mission will limit some of the services slated to be provided by that grant in particular, but overall, the Mission of Hope has experienced no decrease in staffing, services or currently has any plans for changes in strategy for conducting services.
3 Why did the Central Oklahoma Community Action Agency go through reorganization?
Limits on funding caused the administration and the board to have to review programs, efficiency, costs and benefit to communities. Some programs have not been evaluated in years and have been costing the agency more in overhead than service we have been able to provide to the citizens of our communities.
4 How does it benefit the people served by the action agency in our area?
By closing some of our county offices and cutting our overhead costs, we will be able to provide at least double the funds to those particular counties for actual services. Therefore, the people being served are definitely the beneficiary.
5 Even with changes going into effect, what is the organization most proud of during its time in service?
The Mission of Hope is most proud of the ability to serve the clients that we serve, providing the homeless with shelter, food, transportation, weekly one-on-one case management, laundry facilities and life skills classes. The goal is to see our clients move into permanent housing and develop and maintain self-sufficiency.