City Care exists to do the work few others are willing to do.
We believe in the intrinsic value of every person. It is with love and compassion we advocate for the overlooked in our community. We provide food for the hungry, relief for the hurting, and hold space for complete restoration of lives that have gotten off course. With enough endurance, we witness, firsthand, remarkable stories of transformation.
City Care was founded when a few friends simply did the next right thing, and followed a calling on their lives to offer a weekly breakfast to neighbors experiencing homelessness.
While providing immediate relief to suffering will always be a part of what City Care does, we couldn't help but grieve the human potential lost to intergenerational cycles of substance use disorder, incarceration, and poverty. So many that we were serving with weekly meals shared similar stories of origin. They experienced the same kinds of family trauma, had the same kinds of unmet mental, physical and spiritual needs, and when we looked far enough back, we found many of them had not been successful in school.
So what could we do about it? Could we stop these cycles in their tracks?
In order to do something different, one has to see something different. Mentorship is widely accepted as the most effective intervention to intergenerational poverty and low academic achievement, and so, after one year of serving meals to our friends experiencing homelessness, we replicated a tutoring program from Denver we learned about, and Whiz Kids was born. Through this unique blend of nonprofit, neighborhood schools and churches working together on behalf of Oklahoma City’s most vulnerable children, we serve more than 800 students each week, in one-to-one character and literacy-focused mentorship. After one year in our program, students erase any achievement gap caused by life’s circumstances, scoring an average of 32 points higher than their counterparts on state-administered reading tests.
We believe the home is the heartbeat of the family. It should be a sanctuary, a place of deep rest, discovery, and healing. And to that end, we have added to our programming 112 units of permanent, supportive housing and teams of housing navigators and advocates to support our neighbors transitioning out of homelessness. In peer-supported community, our residents are given a safe space to exhale and resources for building a brighter tomorrow for themselves and those they love. Due to the high housing cost burden, our units are always full. We have plans to build more, envisioning a city where all know the safety, security and joy of home.
And in 2021, we opened Oklahoma City's only permanent low-barrier night shelter. Our shelter offers men, women, families and pets a safe place of respite, where they can rest easy tonight. We like to think of our shelter as a welcoming front door, where each guest is met with enthusiasm and dignity, and connected to resources to support their health, well-being, safety and security as they begin or begin again the courageous work of addressing the root causes of their homeless experience, and take steps to transition into stable housing.
Our work is far from finished. It would be our joy and honor to partner with you in serving our neighbors.