Community of Learning

University of Texas at El Paso (Community of Learning)

The Opportunity Center for the Homeless, in conjunction with the College of Health Sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso, initiated in 2014-2015 the first steps and continues to develop and mature the “Community of Learning” on and for persons experiencing homelessness.

Through the Department of Social Work, the Opportunity Center has been incorporated into their curriculum. This serves two purposes – one to provide critical support of our existing staff and second to develop community resources through our students. This partnership has enabled us to implement improved service delivery through the addition of much need resources – the students.

This partnership further assists our community in serving the homeless, while providing students real-life experience in working with the homeless – thus an investment in systemic change at multiple levels. Incorporating students within the mix provides our staff, of which over half are homeless or formerly homeless, with evidence-based approaches that have improved the overall impact of our program to those that we serve within a supportive environment to include our emergency shelter, transitional, and permanent housing programs.

Our primary focus at this time is to strengthen this program through dedicated personnel and resources to expand and fully develop the initiative.