Day of Caring 2022
September 20, 2022
Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods is proud to be a partner with the United Way of Norman as part of our company initiatives. Last Friday, more than 35 Ideal employees participated in the annual Day of Caring event. Our Outreach Ministry Leader, Ronda McKown, found the perfect place for us to use our talents as builders, painters, restorers, and designers, by doing beautification projects at Bridges of Norman.
Bridges’ mission is to empower high school students in family crisis to pursue education without obstacles. Executive Director, Stacy Bruce, shared stories of local high school students who become homeless due to family death/crisis, or aging out of the foster care system, and they come here to find a safe place to live on their own. The staff teach the students important life skills like budgeting, doing laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, and basic car maintenance. Most of their students do not have a vehicle, so they provide bicycles to them, so they do not always have to ride a city bus. Bridges is Project Based Section 8, so the Norman Housing Authority assists with some of the cost of housing, but the students must provide work documentation, or a source of income and they pay rent on a sliding scale for their apartment. Students accepted into the Bridges program must have teacher referrals, attend school, and pass their classes. Their goal is to help students receive their high school diplomas. The previous requirement to apply for Bridges was to be “enrolled in or eligible in a Norman Public High School,” so the organization would lose out on helping students in Moore.
Bridges' strives to help as many students as possible, but the number of those in need is growing at an alarming rate and they need more space to expand. This time last year, the number of homeless students in the Moore area was 29, according to their homeless liaison. Last week, this number has grown to 96 high-school- aged-students without a place to live. Ideal Homes and sister company, Landmark, have found a vacant church in the Moore area that is currently being reviewed for renovations to provide a safe location to house these students.
Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods gives back 10% of profits to local, national, and international charitable organizations. Over the past 30 years, the company, and individuals at Ideal have focused on philanthropic efforts to help offer a hand-up in making an impact on the areas where we live and work. Last year, Ideal set aside more than $800K for non-profits in need. This year, Ideal employees took their first mission trip to Los Angeles where homelessness is the highest in the country. They provided meals, clothing, and restoration in neighborhoods for inner city youth and the homeless. Ideal has partnered with Food & Shelter Inc. and Landmark to begin The Share Center of Norman, the first community center of its kind in Norman, to offer a centralized location with a food pantry, social services, and supplies for those in need. Plus, offering support and prayers to their employees in times of need.