COM's motto is "Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow." This reflects our two-prong strategy for addressing poverty. We not only want to provide immediate assistance to help alleviate crises, but also understand that the long-term success of our clients needs a more relational, transformational approach as well.
Our case managers and interns are available to help walk with our client partners to help them set goals, locate resources, and make steps toward self-sufficiency.
What is "Pathways"?
In addressing poverty, every situation is different because poverty has complex, intersecting causes. As such, there is no one-sized fits all approach. Instead, each person must find their own "pathway" out of poverty. That's where our staff come in. We work with our client partners to identify whether their situation is a temporary crisis requiring immediate relief or a more chronic challenge that needs long-term support. We then connect our client partners to a program designed to fit their specific needs and goals.
There are four main programs within the Pathways system:
When situations beyond a person's control occur, COM can provide emergency financial relief for rent, utilities, and transportation. The help is for true crises and is intended to "stop the bleeding" and prevent a person from falling into a more challenging situation.
In many cases, emergency financial relief is not the appropriate solution because the unstable situation is chronic with deep roots or because the situation is not an emergency. In these cases, COM can give client partners an opportunity to do volunteer work to earn vouchers for some assistance. This both helps the client and allows them to give back to the community as well.
(Voluntarily Invested Partners)
For client partners who want to do the additional work of investing in the future and moving beyond instability to stability and resilience, we offer the "First Five" program. Clients meet with a case manager over five sessions to explore five areas of their well-bring (Physical Health, Mental Health, Finances, Social/Spiritual, and Purposeful Stability.) From there, they set goals to move toward greater stability/resilience in their lives.
For unemployed or underemployed individuals, we offer Project Thrive, an employment access program. Over 10 weeks, students of the program attend classes on self-discovery and employment soft skills, network with local employers, practice job skills in volunteer settings, and are paired with a mentor. The end result is an "on ramp" to better employment opportunities.
Direct: 417-326-2769 ext 2
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Client partners who are missing forms of ID may still receive case management and we may be able to help you recover certain types of ID (such as birth certificates, drivers license, etc.)
COM utilizes the Charity Tracker online system for Pathways programs and other assistance to ensure each client partner receives the proper help.