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Community Service: Specific Programs For Specific Needs

1201 words - 5 pages

Service organizations have always played a vital role in society. For decades, those in need have always been able to find assistance with basic needs at a local church or shelter. As society has evolved, so has the availability and types of assistance that can be found. There are now various charitable organizations offering a wide range of specialized services to those in need. Owasso Community Resources and Goodwill Industries of Tulsa are two such organizations. Both are registered non-profits and listed among the membership of the United Way. Both offer services that fill the needs of the communities they serve. However, they differ greatly in the type of people they serve, the programs that are offered by each organization, and the types of donations that can be accepted at each facility.
Many service organizations today have moved away from the one-size-fits-all approach of service and toward targeted assistance based on the demographic makeup within their service areas. Owasso Community Resources provides services designed to help families facing financial hardship exclusively in the Owasso and Collinsville areas of Oklahoma. Those seeking the services of Owasso Community Resources are struggling financially. Loss of employment, divorce, and unexpected health related expenses are just a few reasons someone might choose to seek out their services. Applicants are required to provide proof of residency and proof of income to be eligible for Owasso Community Resources’ programs. In comparison, Goodwill Industries of Tulsa, incorporated in 1927, provides job related services to those living in Eastern Oklahoma and also to parts of Missouri. The primary focus of their programs are to help physically or mentally disabled individuals or those who face employment barriers to find employment that enables them to be productive members of society. Nancy Webster, Director of Community Relations for Goodwill Industries of Tulsa, states that, “Someone who would be considered to have an employment barrier might lack the job skills to enter the current workforce or may have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time, or they may have suffered an illness or accident that prevents them from returning to their previous type of employment.” Those seeking help need to visit a local office to determine if they are eligible for assistance.
Programs offered by both agencies have been targeted to fill specific needs for those who use their services. Both offer a variety of programs that assist on a financial level, but they achieve this in very different ways. Most of the programs offered by Owasso Community Resources are based on immediate or urgent financial need. Their food, rent and utility assistance programs offer emergency assistance through monetary assistance and food pantry access, but these may only be used a limited number of times during a 12-month period and are intended as a temporary...

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