Family & Children’s Services newly expanded Resource Room, located at our Sarah and John Graves Center on Harvard, is a valuable resource and one-stop-free shop for individuals needing clothing, hygiene products, bus tokens, healthy meals and more.
Resource Room manager Andrew Ahles said, “I think the Resource Room is our effort to help take care of our clients’ basic needs. So much of those with mental illness or other challenges are made worse when their basic needs are not being taken care of.”
The room’s expansion was made possible through an awarded grant. Since April, the Resource Room has helped 750 clients with an increased 158% in food access. The room is able to help clients with immediate needs are met.
The resource room provides clients with donated clothing (with the exception of underwear, undershirts and socks) from the Family & Children’s Services Thrift Store. Clients are also provided with F&CS Thrift Store tokens for shopping when other items not in the room are needed.
Every day, over 10,000 Tulsans use public transportation. Many F&CS clients are without a vehicle and are unable to pay for public transportation. In fact, last year, F&CS purchased over $60,000 worth of bus tokens to help clients make their appointments, which are now centralized and distributed in the room.
Ahles said, “How can we begin to help someone with depression or anxiety if they don’t know where their next meal is coming from? We want to be able to help as much as we can.”
The Resource Room now offers healthy meal options because of the grant. The room is stocked with a variety of healthy options for our clients utilizing the Federal MyPlate nutritional guidelines to divide available food items into their corresponding food group. Clients select a set number of items from each food group which includes four vegetable items, three grain items, three protein items, three fruit items and two dairy items. Adults who are food insecure have health insurance costs $1,863 higher than adults who have access to adequate nutrition.
The Resource Room has been an incredible addition to the Sarah and John Graves location. Clients now have a resource where they can get their basic needs met for themselves, as well as, for their families.