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Rhonda Stevison labels folders for clients at the Enid Street Outreach Services Resource Center, 701 E. Park, on Monday, July 26, 2021. (Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle)

ENID, Okla. — Enid Street Outreach Services is opening the doors to its resource center at noon Tuesday.

The center, located in the basement of Enid Faith Ways and Holy Cross Enid Church at 701 E. Park, will give unsheltered and low-income people a place to apply for existing services and benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid and Social Security, said Cindy Stevison, a volunteer with Enid SOS.

“One of the problems is that (the unsheltered) are not getting the benefits they’re entitled to, so we wanted to improve their access to benefits,” Stevison said. “We want to improve not only their access, but their receipt of these benefits.”

Enid SOS was created in 2020 to meet unsheltered where they are with the goals of bringing professional case managers to Enid and helping the community access existing services and benefits to help fill in what Stevison said were “gaps.”

“There’s not any case management going on. There’s one person doing this and one person doing that, and there are people falling in the gaps, and that’s all we’re trying to do is fill in the gaps,” Stevison said. “There’s a lot of good nonprofits in this town, and they’re doing amazing jobs. We’re just filling in the gaps of the people that fall through.”

Enid SOS has been building relationships with other organizations such as Community Development Support Association, United Way of Enid and Northwest Oklahoma, Salvation Army and more since it was created to help the homeless community, said Rhonda Stevison, vice president of Enid SOS.

“We couldn’t do it without them,” Stevison said.

Enid SOS spent the past few months renovating the Resource Center by clearing out the basement, painting the walls and furnishing it to get it ready for the opening, she said.

The center will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays only since it has about six volunteers to run it, Cindy Stevison said, but once it gets more volunteers, the Resource Center will be open more days per week.

The Resource Center has a space for people to hang out and is available for anyone, she said.

“It’s not just for the homeless,” she said. “It’s for anybody that’s receiving services and needs some resources.”

She said Enid SOS is hoping to get a liaison from Department of Human Services to sit in at the Resource Center on Tuesdays to help with everything, too.

Providing access to these resources, Rhonda said, will help with one of Enid SOS’ goal of reducing homelessness in the community to help them have stability, housing and “the best life that they can.”

“We want them to achieve their best quality of life, and they may need a hand-up to help them do that,” Cindy said. “If they get their benefits they deserve or that they’re entitled to, and get and receive those ... then we can find them housing and get them off the street.”

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McKendrick is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. 
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Kelci? Send an email to kelcim@enidnews.com.

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