The OCP Blog

Industry Workers Update

The folks who are hired into the OCP industries are folks who have shown up for themselves in our community by joining the official membership, coming to meetings and building credit in our “star” system, basically giving back to the community that has helped them by volunteering their time.

Two management team members meet with each hiree monthly to discuss their situation. What do you feel like you need most right now? Would you like professional counseling? Do you need a reference for a better job? What would you like to learn? Where would you like to be in 6 months, 2 years? Do you need help paying off fines, getting dental work, etc?

In the case of one of the first people we hired, Domingo, he needed more work to pay his bills, fix his car, afford housing, and help to support his family back home. We used our contacts with local restaurants and landed him an interview with a popular downtown establishment. He left OCP, is now working full time and has stable housing, a working car, and visits on Monday mornings with hugs and smiles all around.                                        

Bill, who was hired about 7 months ago and is a gifted cook and eager learner, says that the job has been crucial to him. He now has “stable housing and the bills are paid and I don’t have to worry anymore.” He also says the job has given him an outlet for “creativity, more skills, I can create what I want, and I’m learning to work better with others. I’m not as cranky now!” Bill is getting fitted next week for dentures, which he is paying for himself through payroll deductions, and he is also receiving professional counseling at a subsidized rate, a percentage of which he pays for and percentage of which is paid by OCP through a donation made for that purpose.

 

Mike, our other current industry staff member, also says that his job with OCP has enabled him to maintain a stable place to live. He says, “If you’re trying to help people you need to give them work and housing. On the streets your days seem endless, but now I have something to look forward to every day.”  

After nearly a decade of trial and error, I believe that OCP has had a significant breakthrough with this new way of vetting those who are ready for the industries, and focusing  support on them as they stabilize. This style seems to have legs. It feels replicable. It feels like it can grow in a stable and energizing way.  

Ron Copeland

Executive Director