One of those networks is the Skills Training And Resources for Tomorrow. START began last year when Food and Shelter teamed up with Moore Norman Technology Center to provide an eight week program where individuals can get the skills they need to get jobs. The program teaches interview skills, offers mentorships, job training and more.
“This program is really aimed at giving these people skills to be good, hardworking employees,” Doshier said.
Another key to helping with the vision to end homelessness in Norman is to find more affordable housing. Doshier adds that there are many people living on the streets of Norman that are not employable because of mental illness.
“If you lived on $660 a month on disability, you can not live in Norman. We are partnering with all the other housing providers and the city of Norman and our local HUD office to start leveraging our funds that come into Norman and use those to develop affordable housing that will be operated in a supported housing concept so they will never be living technically on their own. Someone will always be with them,” Doshier said.
Doshier understands that the goal she sees is a bit audacious.
“I really believe that if our community comes together with one vision, that by the end of next year homelessness on a long term chronic basis can cease to exist in this community. But I really believe, and I know this is something our other community partners believe, is that if we all work together as a community to build this kind of solution, that it is possible and they are worth it. It is a goal that benefits our entire community and not just the people who live on the streets.”