In an effort to provide a holistic approach to help the homeless population to attain and retain a job within our community, the Opportunity Center for The Homeless, in collaboration with the University of Texas at El Paso, and the Workforce Solutions Borderplex, among other agencies held the first on-site employment clinic to help the participants learn about job opportunities in our area.
During the Thursday clinic, clients underwent a three 3 steps assessment, referral and information giving —the Health Opportunity Prevention and Education Clinic (H.O.P.E) assisted 91 individuals to identify their barriers (such as lack of proper documentation or physical disabilities) to get employment and build self-sufficiency.
This clinic also equips the Opportunity Center for the Homeless with the ability to promote employment as a critical strategy in ending homelessness.
The H.O.P.E. clinic is based on the notion that an individual’s interest in securing employment can motivate them to take positive steps in their lives and mirrors the WorkFirst Toolkit project implemented in 2009 in the Boston Area which helped 11,000 homeless members of the population to move on in life and is highly promoted among the business community.
Around 40 students from the UTEP Masters of Rehabilitation Counseling served as volunteers to help the homeless participants navigate and participate in the clinic.
DISMAS Charities, Goodwill industries, Freedom Janitorial, The Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), San Vicente Family Health Center, Sin Fronteras, and Project Amistad were the other participants of the event which diverts from the belief that ‘all homeless people are job ready.’