Okaloosa Walton Homeless Continuum of Care Opportunity, Inc.

Rating: 4.92 stars   13 reviews

Issues:

Location: 203 Cloverdale Boulevard Fort Walton Beach FL 32547 USA

Mission: Our organization is pivotal in assisting homeless persons in becoming both sheltered and self-sufficient.
Results: We house over 250 family members per year at Opportunity Place, providing up to 90 days of food, shelter and programs designed to enable self-sufficiency. Almost 87% transition to permanent housing and employment. We helped an additional 500 families using federal stimulus dollars to keep near-homeless families housed and homeless families rehoused. Our employment program serves 50 veterans and their families each year, with an 80% success rate in gaining occupational skills,employment, and housing. Each case manager provides resources to 100 clients per year.
Target demographics: Homeless and precariously housed families and individuals
Direct beneficiaries per year: 500 clients
Geographic areas served: Okaloosa and Walton Counties, Florida
Programs: Opportunity Place: shelter for women and families Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program: employment program for female veterans and veterans with families Satellite Offices: Outreach and case management to rural areas Lead Agency of Continuum of Care - forge partnerships, mutual support, service coordination among community stakeholders Homeless Management Information System: web-based computer database system for collecting data, facilitating case management for 2-county region
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This is a wonderful organization, made up of caring people from a variety of disciplines and specialties. There are varied views and perspectives all working toward a common goal of reducing homelessness one person or family at a time. The stories of the many successes are wonderful but the overwhelming need is what drives this group to give and work sacrificially to impact people's lives. I am thankful that we have such a group in our community and encourage the reader to get involved, however you can. Make a difference!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Participation in various help efforts. Seeing where the rubber meets the road.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

better funding and increased awareness

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 4 stars  

I joined the Okaloosa/Walton Continuum of Care for the Homeless over 2 years ago as a result of my desire to implement a soup kitchen in our church. Because of their tremendous support and guidance our church, Christ the King Episcopal Church in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, is now up and running at full speed with the lastest number of meals served being 108. I have been so impressed by the leadership and organizations included in the Continuum. So much so that I agreed to join the board over one year ago and thus have become more and more involved in their successful efforts to aid families and veterans that have been sorely impacted by our declining economy. It is an organization that helps those in trouble, but more importantly helps them to become self-sufficient and productive members of society. I think the single most important accomplishment is the establishment of a 10 unit transitional housing complex for struggling families with children. The success rate has been phenomenal and the many families that have benefitted from this endeavor are forever grateful. I am proud to be a part of such a fabulous organization. Sincerely, Ann Wallace

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I had a dream of implementing a soup kitchen and I've seen that dream come true. I have experienced a wonderful feeling of success and support from all of our congregation. Because of this ministry our congregation has been exposed and responded to the needs of our community.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would use every available resource to publicize this organization and the good that it does.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

A church.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

As a board member and local business owner, I have seen first hand the impact that Opportunity Inc. is having on Okaloosa/Walton County in helping our community get and keep themselves on their feet. There are stories each and every day that I see that inspire me to keep opening my eyes to all of the opportunites we all have to give back to our communities.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

As an elected official, I hold a seat on the Board of Directors. I've been aware of the Continuum of Care almost since its inception and have been amazed at the level of engagement the organization has had. In a county with multiple service providers, duplication of effort, and struggles to gain support and awareness the Continuum organization has made a tremendous difference. Service providers meet monthly to strategically plan, share information, discuss and pursue grants, plan fundraising activities, and efficiently meet the needs of homeless in our communities. Without the Continuum, there would be large chasms, not merely gaps in the services provided for the homeless population. Our commitment to meeting the needs is stronger and more focused as a result.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Those who have benefitted from the efforts of the Continuum and associated service providers frequently "give back" once they are no longer homeless and jobless. Most recently, the young daughter of a woman who was assisted with job skills, employment, and ultimately housing reached back to hold a yard sale to contribute half of the proceeds to the organization. That alone is a testament to the effect the Continuum has on the often overlooked homeless community.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase public awareness of its existence and increase the ability of the Continuum to "tell the story."

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Rating: 5 stars  

Having been involved with many organizations on a volunteer basis, I choose to get involved with Okaloosa Walton Continuum of Care because I see results, lives changed, families healed and a community that supports this works with time and precious little money.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeong what a deep and broad impact the have in helping homeless

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get more people involved(you can never have too many), help more homeless with a Day Center and more permanent shelters.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

How did you learn about this organization?

From a speech the Executive Directir gave to a group I am involved in

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Rescuing families, women and men from living on the street and helping them help themselves to become self-sufficient.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Secure and recurring funding to accomplish the short term goal

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Rating: 5 stars  

Opportunity, Inc. provides information on homeless activities in Okaloosa and Walton counties, disseminates grant invitations to its provider members available only through the Continuum, provides the public and members with listing of service and resource material for the homeless and other in need. It is heavily involved in helping the homeless veterans and participates in the veterans standdown offering medical services including wound care and flu shots. We maintain a comprehensive web site for the benefit of the provider members, donor members and the public. www.okaloosawaltonhomeless.org.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My hands on weekly experience with the shelter Dinner Donor Program and actual personal meal preparation once a month keeps me, as Vice Chair of the organization, constantly aware of its successful operation. As Vice Chair I am also intimately involved at the board level and look to developing a broad based community financial support to allow us to grow and keep pace with the ever changing problem of homelessness.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Change the name to more accurately portray, in the public's mind, the function of the organization.

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