Odessa Links introduced the Project HOPE (Homeless Opportunities for Personal Excellence) program in January 2012 to address a need that has existed in the City of Odessa for over ten years and is listed as a high priority in our city’s consolidated plan. This program is currently addressing the needs of homeless households by providing scattered site rental assistance for a 24 month period along with Continuum of Care services to help increase their education, skills, and incomes to begin the path towards their goals of becoming self sufficient.
Upon entry into Project Hope, clients will be entered into the HMIS-Homeless Management Information System by a case manager staffed at Odessa Links. The case manager evaluates client needs, coordinates/maps resources, and implements long-term self sufficiency plans. Transportation is provided by bus tickets for a year; during the remainder of the program, clients learn to budget for travel or the purchase of transportation. Child care assistance is available for one month to allow clients the time to apply and access subsidized child care payments with partner agencies. Depending on the level of client needs, mainstream benefits and supportive services will be available as clients transition from living on the street or in emergency shelter to living independently. Each client is provided with service programs that enhances their knowledge base such as life skills, parenting classes, health literacy, job skills, financial literacy, credit counseling, and budgeting classes as identified in their self sufficiency plan. Clients are be required to abide by their plan to remain in the Project HOPE program.
Odessa Links' Case Manager promotes personal excellence for clients and guides them through Odessa’s Continuum of Care path towards self sufficiency. Clients who successfully complete the program will have the resources to access affordable housing assistance programs and hopefully will be able to finally own a home. Our current families are creating self sufficiency plans and are taking the initiative to venture into new possibilities on their personal road to success. Though we are unable to measure our client’s emotional attitude, we conduct an initial assessment that includes their current health, emotional state, social supports, and spiritual/ cultural outlook if any.
When families enter our program they are coming from an emergency state and battle with their emotions, pride, confidence, appearance, self worth, lack of support systems, and faith. Gradually, we have seen our clients gain more confidence in their abilities and get motivated and excited at opportunities to move towards their goals. All of our clients receive self sufficiency planners to encourage their “Road to Success” and carry them to agency visits to collect information, take notes, calculate expenses, and schedule follow up appointments. Our clients have been most appreciative for their planners and share how big of an impact these tools are making. By providing structure, organization, and a guide for our clients to reference to we are training clients to be accountable, instilling daily self evaluation practices, promoting future planning, and conveying professionalism in the workforce and in their academics.
Project HOPE is a transitional self sufficiency program, client outcomes are measured through milestones within three main program goals and success is dependent on individual service plans and client defined goals of personal excellence. Projected time frame to complete personal goals is 24 months but some clients may achieve their goals before their allotted time. Main Goals include: 1. Ability to obtain and remain in permanent housing 2. Increase skills and income 3. Achieve greater self-determination If you would like to help our families reach their personal goals we invite you to call us at 432-582-0099 and inquire how you can directly impact the lives of our Project HOPE participants.