COMMUNITY OF LEARNING AND PRACTICE
ENHANCING LEARNING WITH A CROSS-ENGAGEMENT APPROACH
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The Community of Learning and Practice is a collaboration between the Opportunity Center (OC) and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) to provide undergraduate and graduate students with real-world experience doing micro and macro social work with individuals facing homelessness.
Through case management practice at the micro-level and clientcentered projects at the macro level, students from higher education institutions successfully engage with the issue of homelessness.
While in the program, students gain invaluable experience helping marginalized individuals to become independent once again, educating the community about the realities of homelessness, and initiating relationships with community partners for the benefit of those who are homeless.
SCOPE OF WORK
The Community of Learning and Practice holistically engages students and faculty from higher education institutions and the Opportunity Center for the Homeless staff— with those who have a lived experience with homelessness.
The goal is to improve individual service delivery, crisis response systems (safety net), and overall outcomes as we strive to end homelessness in our community.
- Improvement of service delivery to individuals facing homelessness.
- Increased collaboration with other programs, organizations, institutions, and the faith-based community that focus on serving the homeless.
Awareness and Community Systems
- Recognition of the shared community responsibility to ameliorate the impact of homelessness.
- Development of a sound understanding of the root causes of social determinants in practice, research, and advocacy involving an iterative process of observation, reflection, and action.
- Engage and provide means of sustainability for continued service to people in need through community engagement and partnerships.
- Increase income with decrease in reliance on public resources and increase services in support of housing needs.
This is an example of the work of University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) graduate assistants participating in the Community of Learning and Practice for the use of interns and staff with the Opportunity Center for the Homeless residents.
Amy Joyce Ponder, LMSW
Clinical Supervisor–Community of Learning and Practice
(915) 577-0069 ext. 263
1208 Myrtle Avenue, El Paso, TX 79901