Despite Community Center’s closure, services to remain on 39th
On Friday, November 30, Expressions Community Center in Oklahoma City closed their doors. However, after finalizing new leases with the building’s owner, the Homeless Alliance and Red Rock Behavioral Health Services will continue providing their services in the same location.
“It was important for us to stay in this location,” said Steve Norwood, COO Red Rock. “We are known for doing testing here, and we didn’t want to relocate a valuable service. This is an important partnership and good combination of services to be offered in one location. We hope to one day expand the types of services we can offer at this location.”
Red Rock Behavioral Health Services is a nonprofit agency that is nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and Certified by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. They provide behavioral health services to about 13,000 consumers each year across 24 sites serving over 20 counties in Oklahoma.
Red Rock provides a unique, comprehensive array of services for adults and children besides traditional outpatient and community services of individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, group rehabilitation, individual rehabilitation, case management and crisis intervention.
“Expressions Community Center operated here for nine years, and did a wonderful job building a safe, collaborative space where people could seek testing and support,” said Dan Straughan, executive director of the Homeless Alliance.
“We were devastated to learn of their closure and did not want it to impact the delivery of services by other providers to the community. We recognize this is an important part of the 39th District, and we all felt it was important to continue the collaborative work that has been done here.”
The Homeless Alliance works to build the capacity of the community through collaboration with other agencies and build a system that is more efficient, rational and caring. They have several housing programs for families with children, veterans, people who are chronically homeless and people who are HIV positive and their mission is to rally the community to end homelessness.
The Homeless Alliance publishes The Curbside Chronicle and operates the Westtown Homeless Resource Campus which includes a Resource Center with offices for multiple nonprofit and government agencies, a housing complex and a Day Shelter that serves an average of 350 people each day.
Existing services on 39th will continue to operate including HIV, STD and Hepatitis C testing performed by Red Rock BHS and the Latino Community Development Agency as well as housing assistance for people who are HIV positive provided by the Homeless Alliance. The Oklahoma HIV prevention co-op condom distribution and prevention education program through the Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund and referrals into medical care from the Department of Human Services will continue to operate out of the center.
Expressions Church, a separate initiative than its community center, will continue to operate in the building to the west of the facility on Youngs Blvd.
HIV and STD testing are conducted at no charge between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and walk-ins are welcome. For housing assistance and case management, people can visit between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or call (405) 778-6385.
During this calendar year, Red Rock BHS has provided HIV Counseling Testing and Referral (CTR) and Linkage to Care (LTC) to 465 consumers, while having nearly a two positive positivity rate. Also, they have provided Hepatitis C testing to 75 consumers in the community with a nearly 10 percent positivity rate.
Since July, the Homeless Alliance reports assisting 111 people with housing and providing case management to 197 individuals through its Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) program.
Copyright The Gayly – January 4, 2019 @ 7:20 a.m. CST.