Program areas at Opportunity Council
Early Learning and Family Services (ELAFS) - Opportunity Council's largest program comprises local Head Start, Early Childhood Education and Assistance Programs, Early Support for Infants and Toddlers serving, and the Quality Child Care Division. 2019 accomplishments include: 469 children participating in local Head Start and Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program preschools. 97 children-ranging from newborns to three-year-olds and their highly impacted families were served by our intensive Early Head Start Program. The community's Single-Entry Access to Services (SEAS) system operated by ELAFS served 967 referrals from hospitals, doctors, family members and educators when I child was known to have or suspected of having a developmental delay or special need. Referrals were navigated to appropriate resources to meet the child's needs. Early Support for Infants and Toddlers served approximately 625 unduplicated children ages 0 to 3 to help address developmental delays and other special needs through therapeutic interventions and family resource coordination. Our Quality Child Care Division (QCC), through Child Care Aware, assisted 2,424 clients in their search for child care information and referral. In addition, the QCC Division served 454 licensed child care/ early learning businesses in Early Achievers, Washington's Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS), then provided technical assistance, training and coaching to improve quality. Those enrolled providers serve more than 16,000 children in education and care programs. Early Learning and Family Services also manages the East Whatcom Community Resource Center. The East Whatcom Regional Resource Center provided approximately 610 referrals per month to social services for residents of this geographically isolated area.
Home Improvement - By servicing existing homes, the home improvement program preserves vital housing units (a key component of ensuring affordable housing), while also improving community health, safety and climate resiliency. We weatherized 118 houses so families could reduce their annual energy use and expenses and rehabbed 44 additional homes to improve durability, indoor air quality and ensure home safety. Our Conservation Education team taught 141 households how to take control of high-energy bills through behavior changes and installation of new energy efficient products.
Community Services: A multi-faceted program dedicated to serving our most vulnerable communities, Community Services strives to serve those in need wherever they are. Staff and volunteers served over 27,000 hot meals at our Maple Alley Inn program for people who are homeless or anyone who is hungry. We secured housing for over 1,000 households through permanent supportive housing, temporary housing, rental assistance, and eviction prevention services. Over 200 people gained job skills and work experience through our Employment Services programs. We supplemented nearly 8,400 energy bills with payments on behalf of families in need, ensuring they would not be forced to choose between paying for energy or covering other basic needs. Our Resource Centers in three counties responded to nearly 4,000 requests for help from people in crisis. Volunteer coordination, tenant enrichment services, and other programs are additional components in our efforts to serve and help strengthen our communities. In 2019, 336 volunteers provided over 13,500 hours of services in our communities, 192 older residents were able to find housing through the Generations Housing Project, and over 6,000 households in affordable housing projects throughout the State of Washington were provided access to tenant support and enrichment services.