Oklahoma Champions of Health

Robert Althoff receiving awardBob Althoff, Executive Director of Abba’s Family, at the 7th annual Oklahoma Champions of Health Award Banquet on October 18, 2010 at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Abba’s Family was one of two finalists for the Community Health Champion Award. This award was given for efforts of the Housing Faith Alliance, a program of Abba’s Family, which builds bridges of connectivity between formerly homeless mentally ill men and women and the faith communities in their neighborhoods.

Mentally ill Tulsans find recipe for success in cookie project.

By BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer
February 22, 2013

It’s difficult to measure, but its flavor is unmistakable. The bakery is a collaboration between the synagogue and the Mental Health Association in Tulsa, supported by the Housing Faith Alliance. It takes its name from the Altamont Apartments, a housing facility operated by the Mental Health Association. Each Tuesday afternoon, about half a dozen volunteers from the synagogue and about the same number of residents of Mental Health Association housing get together to bake cookies. Not just cookies, but big, thick, rich, chocolaty cookies. And they sell them at hospitals, coffee shops and other sites around town.

Read the complete story at TulsaWorld.com

Altamont Bakery Video

KTUL Channel 8
November 12, 2012

Altamont Bakery is featured on KTUL Tulsa’s Channel 8. See the video at KTUL Channel 8

Baking for the better –
The Altamont Bakery gives Tulsans with mental illnesses a place to work and connect with the community.

October 2012

Every Tuesday evening, Mary Nixon walks into the kitchen at the Congregation B’nai Emunah synagogue and puts on her apron to begin her shift. Then, it is not unusual to see her mix together nearly 150 eggs with bag after bag of chocolate chips, all for the sake of creating the perfect cookie. Well, actually about 1,000 perfect cookies. Some notice the process creates a delicious aroma that overflows into the synagogue’s hallways.

Read the complete story at TulsaPeople.com

Homelessness Interrupted –
Aiding the homeless population with a housing-first philosophy

By Brad Andrews
June 13, 2012
Urban Tulsa Weekly

“Will work for food.” Four words that evoke a distinct image in our country’s collective conscience. Typically scrawled on a disheveled piece of cardboard, this axiom is, for many, the summation of the perception of the homeless.

Fortunately, a web of social services in Tulsa is cognizant that the problem is much more complex than a hungry stomach, and they won’t stop until homelessness, irrespective of its origin, is eradicated.

Read the complete story at Urban Tulsa Weekly

Beyond the walls

December 2011

Members of eight local places of faith take their desire to serve the community outside the walls of their buildings, creating innovative and effective programs that help everyone from children and youth to the homeless to the unemployed.

Read the complete story at TulsaPeople.com

Oklahoma health-care innovators making a difference

By JANET PEARSON Associate Editor
Sunday, July 03, 2011

Imagine living in a remote area of Oklahoma and suddenly learning you have cancer. Where would you go for information, referrals and other services? Perhaps to the Cancer Survivorship Education Program, an initiative sponsored though the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa, that links rural cancer patients with needed resources.

Imagine learning you have a serious condition that requires costly medication — medicine you can’t afford. Where would you turn for help? Five local private and independent pharmacies — Couch Pharmacy, Drug Warehouse, Freeland- Brown Pharmacy, T. Roy Barnes Drugry and Spoon Drug — formed the Tulsa Community Pharmacy partners to address just such a need. Their collaboration ensures that patients served through the University of Oklahoma Bedlam Clinic Systems have access to affordable prescription medications.

Imagine you’re homeless, suffering from a mental illness. How would you get the help you need? One possibility would be Tulsa’s Abba’s Family, a faith-based nonprofit organization that helps faith communities develop services for the homeless. The Mental Health Association of Tulsa worked with Abba’s Family and others to create the local Housing Faith Alliance, a nationally recognized coalition that aims to end chronic homelessness and address this population’s health needs.

Read the complete story at TulsaWorld.com

Action plan focused on ending homelessness

By GINNIE GRAHAM World Staff Writer
Published: 4/19/2009

When the Tulsa County emergency shelter director started asking Tulsans how many homeless people they thought the city had, she was stunned at the answers. “The lowest number I heard was 22,000,” Linda Johnston said. “There are a tremendous amount of myths and misunderstandings we have about Tulsa’s homeless.” The actual number on any given night is about 600. Of those, 275 are considered chronically homeless, meaning they revolve in and out of shelters and cannot find stability.

Each year, about 4,000 Tulsans lose their housing. About 26 percent of residents are at risk of losing their homes, which is defined as being one paycheck away from being unable to pay for their housing, according to shelter and social service officials.

Motivated by the “Building Tulsa, Building Lives” effort that will build 511 units to help end homelessness, a group of about 70 providers are creating an action plan to refine their services and plug gaps in systems most often leading to homelessness. The plan, called “A Way Home for Tulsa,” will be presented to various groups and policymakers during the coming months with final recommendations expected in June.

Read the complete story at TulsaWorld.com