Community Hope Centers
For questions or additional information,
please email Hillary Burkholder with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
Supporting the resource needs of children in the community by developing a Community Hope Center model
In July 2020, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services proposed direct collaboration with existing community partners to develop a new platform referred to as ‘Community HOPE Centers’ to serve the needs of the state’s most vulnerable children. CARES Act dollars were sought and granted to allow existing partners (Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs, Urban League, etc.) to develop robust programming and provide supports and resources to children and families to combat unprecedented levels of Adverse Childhood Experiences related to COVID-19, infusing the science of Hope to address the needs of children and families.
Funds will allow providers to, among potential other interventions, engage in the following required activities (‘Program Activities’):
- Within the program period, provide trauma-informed mental and emotional health professionals to work with children and program staff to address new, higher levels of childhood trauma;
- Embed a DHS employee to connect families to resources like TANF, SNAP, workforce programs and LIHEAP;
- Work with students to help facilitate engagement in remote/virtual learning platforms, including help with homework and other assignments;
- Provide deeper enrichment activities to combat social and emotional distress;
- Provide two meals and a snack to children daily to address rising food insecurity;
- Follow CDC guidelines, including the purchase of proper PPE and sanitation supplies and maintaining small group sizes.
Progress to Date
Since the public launch of the Community HOPE Center platform on August 3, 2020, OKDHS has expanded the platform to 27 operating sites serving 1,689 children.