OKC Beautiful is partnering with NSO’s Carolyn Williams Center through the
OKC Harvest Program

OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov 9)- Neighborhood Services Organization is partnering with OKC Beautiful and the OKC Harvest program to educate and impact the lives of the young men living at NSO’s Carolyn Williams Center.

Volunteers with Blue Cross and Blue Shields along with the NorthFace Store built a four-bed garden at CWC that provides fruit and vegetables year round for the residents who live there. According to OKC Beautiful, of the 26 gardens they’ve helped build, NSO’s garden is one of the top producers thanks to the care provided by the staff and residents.

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to partner with OKC Beautiful and OKC Harvest to teach our residents about eating healthy and working together,” said Stacey Ninness, President and CEO of NSO. “Our residents love having the garden. They tell us that caring for the garden is a very calming activity for them.”

NSO’s Carolyn Williams Center provides a two-year transitional housing program and a 90-day emergency shelter to homeless young men ages 18-23. The residents who live there receive essential life skills classes, such as preparing meals, so they can learn to live independently.

“We hope the residents are perfecting their gardening skills and then enjoying and preparing wonderful meals with the fresh, healthy produce,” said Lisa Synar, CEO of OKC Beautiful. “OKC Beautiful looks forward to working on additional garden projects with NSO.

OKC Beautiful’s goal is to have a positive impact on the economic viability of our community. Their mission is to improve the image and appearance of Oklahoma City through beautification programs and community engagement. NSO’s mission of transforming lives and encouraging independence through safe, healthy homes, dental care and nutrition, is a great compliment to OKC Beautiful’s mission, making them a natural community partner.

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 8) – Neighborhood Services Organization’s dental clinic manager, Laura Gutierrez, was awarded a certificate for Nonprofit Management through the Nonprofit Management Certification Program. Gutierrez was among the 25 students who participated in the six-month professional development program. According to the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, Gutierrez accumulated 36 hours of Continuing Professional Education in the following content areas: Leadership Essentials, Managing Support for the Organization, Managing Budgets and Leading Meetings, Human Resources, Conflict Management and Diversity, and Coaching as Supervision.

“Participating in the course was a wonderful opportunity,” Gutierrez said. “The course has great instructors who give continued support and the topics were extremely relevant to every day nonprofit life. I am very proud to have been selected and I can’t wait to put my new skills to use in our office.”

Oklahoma City (June 10) – Neighborhood Services Organization had the unique opportunity to host Chef Ryan Lopez for a cooking class at the Carolyn Williams Center on Monday, June 6. The young men who live there were able to join in and learn how to make his amazing coconut corn curry sause along with fresh salmon and summer vegetables.

Chef Ryan Lopez is the personal chef of Kevin Durant and the corporate chef for Swadley’s Bar-B-Q. He has become extremely involved in the OKC community and has already asked to come back for another class.

“Those kids just need more people to come in and show them some love that’s all,” said Lopez. “I hope the kids and staff all had as much fun as I did.”

The Carolyn Williams Center is a housing program and emergency shelter that serves young men, ages 18-23, most of whom come directly from foster care or youth shelters. With NSO, they get help finding jobs, take weekly life skills classes, share chores and learn how to live independently to ensure their future self-sufficiency. The Carolyn Williams Center is the only housing program of its kind in region.

Please visit nsookc.org for more information on Neighborhood Services Organization. You can find more information about Chef Ryan Lopez on his website chefrl.com.