programs & services

Housing Placement & Supportive Case Management for Persons Experiencing Homelessness

OCP has case managers and a housing specialist who focus on identifying vulnerable homeless persons in need of permanent housing. We assist them through the public housing application process and advocate for their placement. We assist them obtaining vouchers that cover the majority of housing costs (a federal HUD program that subsidizes the cost of housing so low income persons who are elderly or disabled will have a place to live). We also work with property owners to identify landlords who will work with us to place people with or without vouchers into their units. Once placed, OCP case managers provide ongoing follow-up support to help people maintain their housing by mediating problems between tenants and landlords, helping to resolve conflicts with neighbors, helping tenant through temporary rent payment challenges, and much more.

Emergency Housing Assistance Fund

While Mercy House runs the local Prevention and Rapid Rehousing programs with federal HUD funds,  not everyone qualifies. OCP solicits from donors and sponsors extra funds that we can use in emergencies to either place people into housing, or keep them in housing. We also spend time providing financial education, counseling, rep payee, and other financial services to people with disabilities to help them obtain or maintain their long-term housing.

Organizational Representative Payee Services

The Social Security Administration can approve an individual or organization to legally act on behalf of clients to manage their SSA benefits, whether retirement or disability income. OCP acts as an organizational rep payee for about a dozen individuals who have histories of proven inability to manage personal finances, and which has resulted in them being homeless. All funds must to the client, and OCP offers the services at no cost. The SSA audits our ledgers for clients on an annual basis. We assist people with intellectual disability, severe alcoholism, severe mental illness, and other challenges that have resulted in homelessness, to 1) get them back into housing and pay their rent on time each month; 2) pay their utilities and phone costs; 3) save money, if needed, for future needs; 4) distribute the remaining funds in weekly or monthly disbursements to each client so they can buy food, clothing, pay for transportation and other needs.While many people are angry when they first are provided a rep payee to manage their funds, over time they see the benefit of OCP’s involvement: stability of housing; having funds available throughout the month (instead of it getting spent up at the beginning of the month); and developing a relationship with a case manager who can assist them in making wise financial decisions.

Morning Empowerment

Monday – Wednesday = 9:30am

This time includes devotionals, centering and breathing, chair yoga, topical discussions, nature movies, shared reading/stories, and much more.

Community Meals

All are welcome!

Before every meal at OCP, the community circles up, holds hands, and takes turns saying names and one thing to be thankful for. No one is required to circle up but everyone is strongly encouraged to join in this celebration.

Monday & Wednesday = Noon

Tuesday Volunteer Work Day

All are welcome… BUT, all participants must sign in by 10am and attend the morning planning session to participate in the day and lunch. The building is closed to anyone who chooses not to volunteer.

Community Meetings

All are welcome! Come to listen and discuss community center issues, upcoming events and volunteer needs.

2nd & 4th Mondays from 1pm-2pm

Community Center Activities: Game Days, Art therapy, field trips, and more!

Uno, Spades, Scrabble, Chess, Pictionary – you name it!!! Come on down from 10am to Noon and join in on the fun Mondays and Wednesday. Sometime volunteers come in to provide art therapy. Quarterly we take folks on field trips to brighten their days, provide a change of pace and location, and to just plain have fun! Mini-golf, swimming at Todd Lake, Skyline Drive picnics and hikes, Ruby’s Arcade day, and much more! 

Thursday Night Entertainment

Currently  unavailable. 

In 2023, we hope to return to our Thursday evening activities, including a rotation of Movie Nights, Live Music, Third Thursday Karaoke, Family Game Nights, and special presentations and forums.

Lockers

For $3/month rent (or 1 volunteer star), community members can rent an outdoor locker. Each locker is padlocked with a customizable, 4-digit combination.

Laundry

A washer and dryer, along with laundry detergent, are available to community members free of charge. In community center, schedule at the front desk.

Showers

A shower is available to community members. Towels, washcloths, soap and shampoo are provided!

Telephone and Wi-Fi

A telephone is available for community members and is located at the front desk. All calls are free. Please be courteous and keep conversations brief. Wi-fi is available in the building as well. We also have 2 computers for use in job search, ordering birth certificates, and other needs.

Advocacy and Volunteer Opportunities

We encourage community members (clients) to become involved in advocacy for the homeless, and we provide speakers and opportunities for self-advocacy to happen. OCP also provides many many many opportunities for community members to give back through volunteerism–washing dishes, prepping food for meals, mowing the lawn, setting tables, waiting tables at Friday Lunch Restaurant, helping another community member apply for a job, leading an UNO game to engage others, and much more! People who give back, get more in return! That’s also how we build community and relationships of support and love.

 

Free Table

The Free Table has different items on different days ranging from food to books and clothing. Everything on it is free to take. Do not place personal items on the Free Table. VOLUNTEERS: please take clothing donations to clothes closets at local churches or local thrift stores; OCP does NOT accept donations of clothing or shoes. We do accept donations of tents, sleeping bags and backpacks.

Stars

Stars can be earned by participating in our Tuesday Volunteer Work Days, Friday Lunch Restaurant, and/or our Night Out fundraisers. Stars can be used to pay for lockers or to “buy” OCP merchandise and other fun items.

Membership

OCP Members participate with the staff in helping OCP be the best place that it can be. Membership Meetings are held on 2nd & 4th Mondays from 1pm-2pm. Anyone can attend these meetings and everyone’s voice is valued, but only members can vote. Anyone can become a member. There is a three-month trial period.