OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Gov. Kevin Stitt and Oklahoma Human Services are aiming to create a virtual neighborhood of nonprofits, faith-based programs, and community organizations that work to help people in need.
The new initiative is called Be A Neighbor, which an Oklahoma Department of Human Services news release describes as “a web-based platform to identify and unify non-profits, community organizations and faith-based groups across the state who provide programs that are meeting the needs of vulnerable populations in their communities.”
“When we are all working together as one state, I am confident we can change the future for Oklahomans for the better,” said Stitt said. “I am asking for Oklahoma’s non-profits, community organizations and faith-based programs to sign up and identify as a ‘Neighbor’ on our new platform, BeANeighbor.org. The goal is to have a one-stop-shop for Oklahomans to find help or to discover ways to give or volunteer. Most importantly, this new initiative will allow the State to better partner our caseworkers and resources with local programs to help deliver lasting change.”
Stitt is asking that groups who work to meet the needs of vulnerable community members to identify as “Neighbors” at the aforementioned website, according to the news release.
“The initiative was crafted in partnership with 2-1-1 and Count Me In 4 Kids, and it seeks to create an easy-to-navigate library of resources where fellow Oklahomans can find help or where Oklahomans can discover organizations to lend their support,” the news release states.
State caseworkers will receive training on how to use the platform to streamline and strengthen public-private partnerships to help people in need and better identify resource deficiencies across the state.
“At OKDHS, we see firsthand every day the impact of communities stepping forward to support their neighbors,” said OKDHS Director Justin Brown. “BeANeighbor.org brings human services to the local level, allowing community organizations, faith-based groups, and non-profits to work shoulder-to-shoulder with OKDHS to meet the needs of the individuals and families we serve together. Hope is rising in Oklahoma as this initiative allows Oklahomans to help other Oklahomans achieve independence and create better futures.”
BeANeighbor.org identifies three key pillars to unite organizations that work to help people so the state can “bring lasting, positive change and end cycles of poverty.” The Be A Neighbor website features a map that visitors can engage to learn how their counties are faring in the following critical categories:
- Youth dropping out of high school.
- Youth aging out of foster care without a family.
- Individuals re-entering society after prison, and more.
“Oklahoma has the resources we need to bring our state out of Bottom Ten rankings,” Stitt said. “This initiative seeks to strength connections and drive efficiency in the delivery of those resources so that we can best serve the person who needs help to achieve lasting change.”