By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Homeless Alliance has received a $200,000 donation from the Richison Family Foundation, established by Paycom’s founder and CEO, Chad Richison. The donation will help to meet the Homeless Alliance’s new demands of safely providing food and hygiene supplies to people experiencing homelessness in Oklahoma City while allowing for social distancing.
Paycom, a leader in payroll and HR technology, serves clients in all 50 states from offices nationwide.
The donation will provide the funds needed for the organization to shift operations and focus on outreach to people who are unsheltered, continue operating the homeless resource campus and allow for additional support of vulnerable clients in housing, who are at risk of slipping back into homelessness.
“The support Chad has provided is literally going to help save lives in our community,” said Dan Straughan, executive director of the Homeless Alliance. “Our immediate focus is on the health and safety of people who do not have a home to retreat to, but we also anticipate an uptick in the number of people in need of our services as the economic impact of this virus ripples through our community. Chad has set an incredible example of what it means to take care of your neighbors.”
People experiencing homelessness face unique challenges when dealing with a pandemic, including being among the most susceptible to contracting the virus, according to Straughan.
“I’m happy to support these nonprofits that are stepping up to ensure all Oklahomans have access to these basic needs,” said Richison.
A nonprofit organization based in Oklahoma City, the Homeless Alliance’s mission is to rally the community to end homelessness. The organization works to build the capacity of the community through collaboration with other agencies and build a system that is more efficient, rationale, and caring.
The Homeless Alliance has several housing programs for families with children, veterans, and people who are chronically homeless.
The organization 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.
In addition, the Homeless Alliance publishes The Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma’s street paper created to provide both a voice and employment for people experiencing homelessness.
The new pet-themed April issue of the Curbside Chronicle titled “Paws Everything” is not for sale from the recognizable street vendors in green. This is the first ever issue available totally online for the Chronicle.
This issue covers: Fostering Pets, Finding Hope in a Four-Legged Friend, Counting on You: 2020 Census, An Excerpt from Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s Book, Vendor Pet Photos, Meet Bruce: Vendor Q&A, and Parting Shot.
The magazine typically goes for a suggested donation of $2 on the street, but for April a suggested donation of $5 will help offset the loss of vendor tips and assist more vendors in paying for basic needs.
A post on the Curbside Chronicle Facebook page, calls this issue “bittersweet.”
“Relationships are core to Curbside’s mission,” the Facebook post continued. “We all miss the interaction between you and vendors. On the bright side, many of the stories in April’s issue give you the opportunity to get to know a few of our vendors and their pets a little bit better.”
A digital copy of the April magazine can be purchased online at thecurbsidechroncle.org.
Last month a COVID-19 Emergency Vendor Fund was established to help support vendors who rely on magazine sales as their sole source of income. The online April issue purchase or donation will help to support this fund,
While street sales of the Chronicle are temporarily suspended, the COVID-19 Emergency Fund will provide financial assistance to vendors, which includes support for basic necessities like food and medications.
Through April magazine sales and donations, the Homeless Alliance has been already been able to deliver food boxes and supplies to some of their most vulnerable vendors.
“Throughout this month, we’ll begin paying rent, medical bills and more because of your support. Stay tuned for more updates,” the Facebook post stated. “Together, we can end homelessness. Together, we’ll make it through this crisis.”
To donate, or to learn more about the Homeless Alliance and how you can help, visit homelessalliance.org.