Mark had struggled with mental illness for years, which led him to lose his job and his home. When Mark found himself in this situation, he was overwhelmed and knew he needed help to take back control of his life. That is when he reached out to Family and Children’s Services’ (F&CS) Homeless Outreach Team (HOT). Through his work with HOT, Mark has learned to overcome the obstacles put in front of him and control his mental illness. He worked hard and stayed consistent with his treatment and now has a place to call home. He stated, “I’m happy to have my own place!”
F&CS has been serving Tulsa’s homeless for more than 18 years and has developed several programs targeted to the homeless community. To best serve this unique community, F&CS has HOT clinicians located in the Salvation Army’s downtown location, Iron Gate, the Tulsa City-County Library, and on-site at the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma’s supportive housing, the Tulsa Housing and Recovery Program.
The ultimate goal of HOT is to assist those in need with securing basic needs, obtaining safe housing and learning how to be advocates for themselves Examples of these would be obtaining proper identification, i.e. a driver’s license, birth certificate and/or a social security card, securing a job, learning to pay bills, grocery shopping and how to maintain these over the years.
Connecting clients to mental health services and long-term housing is at the core of what our homeless outreach and diversion programs does every day. After an individual finds housing case managers work with them to monitor their progress and how they are adjusting to their new responsibilities. There is no feeling like when you see a client overcome their obstacles, take back control and become their own advocate for their future.