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
I have been a volunteer with the Okaloosa/Walton Counties Continuum of Care for a couple of years. I have watched it grow into a strong force in our community helping the homeless and those on the verge of becoming homeless. With a very small paid staff, they have opened a shelter for women and families, supported the churches opening as cold night shelters for the homeless, magaged the Homeless Prevention/Rapid Rehousing program, and the current program for assisting homeless women veterans with housing and employment. They are always on the front lines of making the public aware of the plight of those in need, especially children. It's an amazing group and I'm grateful to be a small part.