COA's mission is to teach the disadvantaged the skills necessary to reach and sustain stability and self-sufficiency and to prevent homelessness. COA seeks to improve the quality of life of the people it serves; however, "quality" is merely a concept when you do not have a roof over your head, a blanket to shield you from the cold or food to feed your children. 30 years of service have taught us that our clients are best served by first stabilizing their daily existence: relief from cold and hunger, protection from the elements and dangers of the street and despair. With support, struggling families and individuals are motivated towards secure, independent and decent lives.
COA serves more than 106,000 meals annually including breakfast and dinner. Aside from the food, clients also appreciate the opportunity to meet and interact with the servers (volunteers), an interaction very different from the type you find on the streets.
Clothing and groceries are distributed to those in need on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Bus tokens are distributed for transportation to job interviews, medical appointments or appointments with agency workers.
COA operates a men's transitional housing program in a small house adjacent to 515 East Third Street. Currently, there are five men in the program. The men, who generally come off the street, work at COA in exchange for free room and board, under a case plan, allowing them to build new skills and integrate back into society.
COA operates a women's transitional housing program facility where 12 single mothers may have their own two-bedroom, two-bath apartment unit in a safe, secure building. The primary focus is to assist women to achieve self-sufficiency in a supportive, substance-free setting.
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- Ana De La Torre
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