Imagine you’re a mom with two kids whose husband moved the family to Oklahoma City and then abandoned everyone. You don’t know anyone here nor do you have a job or a place to stay. The only thing you have is your car. You and your children are living in your car as you try to find work. You’re well- educated and have work experience, but because you don’t have an address, it’s difficult to find a job. You end up at one of the larger homeless shelters in Oklahoma City.
Unfortunately, to receive their services, you have to give up your car, your one asset, because they don’t have parking space. You also have to enroll in their educational program which is during the day. This means you can’t get a daytime job, and if you do get a job, you no longer have your car, so you must use public transportation, such as the city bus. Not all buses run 24 hours, seven days a week, so getting to and from a job is also problematic.
To make matters even worse, because of his age, your 16-year-old son is required to sleep in the men’s dorm (one big room with bunk beds) and cannot stay with you and your daughter in the women’s dorm.
This is a typical situation that Jennifer Meyer-Conklin faced as a case manager at this shelter, and she knew there had to be a better way. The cookie cutter approach simply doesn’t work all the time. That’s when Jennifer decided to found The Hive Connection.
The Hive Connection is a nonprofit located in Edmond but serves the entire state. Their services are customized for each individual’s needs. They meet people where they are and provide the services they need without requiring them to change what’s already working for them.
In the situation above, The Hive Connection would have found housing for this family that allowed them to stay together while working with mom to help her find a job. The Hive would have supported the family with basic necessities like food and clothing to stabilize their situation and would have continued to support the family until they could be self-sufficient.
Jennifer Meyer-Conklin founded The Hive Connection in 2019 to be a referral resource for anyone who needs emergency or short-term assistance. They also provide one-on-one action planning to help those who are ready to end the cycle of struggle.
As with most nonprofits, their needs are many. They are growing quickly and will soon need office space and supplies. Because they are a young organization, one primary need is board members — people with good non-profit board experience who are willing and able to roll up their sleeves and work alongside Jennifer to meet the needs of the people they serve. The Hive Connection also needs connections to other nonprofits where they can refer their clients and, of course, financial support in the form of donations.
For more information, contact Jennifer Meyer-Conklin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 405-816-9716.
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About Laura Gamble
Laura is President of Redbud Advisory Group, a consulting company that she founded in 2016. Redbud, whose tagline is, “First I listen”, provides a myriad of consulting and professional development services to non-profit and small business leaders. She is a certified life coach and holds certifications in non-profit management and DISC Behavioral Analysis.