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April 2022
Happy Birthday to us! We're turning 2!

It's crazy to think that what started as an 8-week long task force to help small businesses and nonprofits apply for emergency SBA funds has grown into an established organization dedicated to helping Tulsans access multiple government services.

Since our inception, Tusla Responds has been passionate about meeting the various needs of our city. Over the past 24 months, we have carved out a niche of providing free 1:1 navigation services to Tulsa’s most vulnerable and helping them enroll in life-changing government programs. Here is a quick look back at what we’ve accomplished since we began:
  • Assisted 867 small businesses in Tulsa County to apply for more than 1,901 loans and grants for a total of $197.5 million (and counting!) We continue to reach out to businesses to provide them with information and guidance on new grant and loan opportunities.
     
  • Joined Yes on 802’s canvassing and phone banking efforts and helped pass Medicaid expansion to Oklahoma by less than 7,000 votes, making 200,000 Oklahomans newly eligible for SoonerCare! (More on SoonerCare later)
     
  • We are in our third season of partnering with Goodwill VITA on providing free tax filing assistance to households making less than $60k/year. In our first season, we helped file nearly 1500 returns; in our second season, we helped more than doubled the previous season with 3,000+ returns for more than $4 million dollars. We are midway through our third season and are on track to exceed previous years, and have introduced an appointment system (there’s still time to make an appointment and file taxes, please help us spread the word!)
     
  • Partnered with the City of Tulsa, Cox, and our local school districts and charter schools to provide one year of free in-home internet to more than 2,200 households who previously didn’t have internet access, and provided step-by-step assistance to nearly 1300 households who qualified for up to $70/month off their monthly internet bill. We continue to enroll households for this government subsidy.
     
  • For two falls in a row, we have partnered with TPS to staff their support line and provide assistance to students and their families experiencing issues with remote learning or computer equipment.
     
  • Thanks to grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Ascension St. John, and strategic partnerships with BEST, the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority (OHCA), Tulsa Healthcare Coverage Project, Tulsa Health Department, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, and others, we have been able to educate and enroll newly eligible participants in both SoonerCare and ACA Marketplace health insurance. We have successfully enrolled 602 newly eligible participants since July 2021! Additionally, we received training from Hunger Free Oklahoma to enroll 345 of those clients for SNAP benefits! 
     
  • Partnered with Restore Hope Ministries in the distribution of emergency rental assistance funds. As part of their goal to process more applications in 2022, Restore Hope brought on Tulsa Responds to provide greater customer service support. Since January we have had over 10,000 unique client interactions, answering questions, giving status updates, and directing tenants to additional services we and other partners offer. This strategic partnership has enabled the Restore Hope team to process an additional 1,584 applications, resulting in $6.3 million worth of rental assistance being distributed to families in need!

We are honored for this opportunity to do meaningful, impactful work in our community. We are especially grateful for the trust our primary funder, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, has shown our organization, and the support the Tulsa Community Foundation has provided to make this work possible. The coming year looks bright as we continue to explore new partnerships that will provide Tulsans with access to even more programs that will help them achieve financial stability.


CURRENT PROJECT UPDATES:


FREE TAX FILING
Our VITA tax season continues to exceed expectations. We have now helped 1,100 households receive $2,771,434 so far this season! There are just a few short weeks left until the April 18th tax deadline, and we need your help spreading the word about our free tax filing services. Taxpayers can file online or in person at one of our 6 locations throughout the city. 

SOONERCARE ENROLLMENT:
We are excited to announce that we enrolled our 600th SoonerCare participant last month! A large part of this success is attributed to our amazing navigators who tirelessly canvas neighborhoods, educate, and do diligent follow-up, to ensure those who are eligible can receive the benefits they deserve! Without our partnerships with BEST, the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority (OHCA), OK Human Services, Hunger-Free Oklahoma, and others, our efforts would not be nearly as successful. 
 
April 15th Deadline Quickly Approaching
Free Tax Filing | Vita Goodwill & GetYourRefund.org

Tulsa Responds is partnering with Goodwill VITA and GetYourRefund.org to provide free tax prep for low to mid-income households. We have already helped 1100 households receive over $2.5 Million in refunds. With less than four weeks left of this tax season, we need your help to increase our impact! 

Households with an annual household income of $58,000 or less qualify for free tax preparation assistance from our IRS-certified tax preparers!  You must file your taxes to get your Child Tax Credit, missing stimulus checks, and other tax credits you are owed!

To make an appointment visit GetYourRefundTulsa.org/start

What to Bring
  • Photo ID and Social Security Card for all people claimed. 
  • Income documents (W-2, 1099 forms).
  • Payment documents (Medical bills, mortgage interest, tuition payments, daycare expenses).
Locations

Martin Regional Library | 2601 S Garnett Rd
Spanish Assistance Available 
Mon, Wed - 12pm-4pm
Sat - 9am-3pm

Eastgate Mall | 1402 E 21st St
Spanish Assistance Available
Tues, Thurs - 12pm-4pm

Goodwill (Yale ) | 1661 S Yale Ave
Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri - 9am-2pm
Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri -  3pm-7pm

Goodwill (SW Blvd) | 2800 Southwest Blvd
Sat - 9am-3pm

Tulsa Dream Center | 200 W 46th St N
Mon, Thurs - 9am-1pm

South Tulsa Community House | 5780 S Peoria Ave
Mon, Thurs - 9am-2pm

Neighbors Along the Line | 5000 Charles Page Blvd
Mon - 1pm-7pm
April 2022
Enrollment Expansion | Currently Taking New Applicants 

Tulsa Educare is an Early Childhood Education Center with a mission to transform the lives of very young children and their families through high-quality early childhood education, enhancing parenting practices, and strong partnerships with other organizations. We envision a world where a young child’s family income, race, and adverse experiences do not predict life success. We seek to achieve our mission with a two-fold approach by operating four early childhood schools as a member of the national Educare Learning Network and impacting the lives of children from birth through age eight beyond the walls of our schools through Early Learning Works and child care partners.

We are currently expanding our enrollment in our preschool rooms, this means we have openings!

Eligibility Requirements:
A family may qualify if they meet any of the following:
  • The child is in foster placement
  • The family is homeless or living in a shelter
  • The family receives TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) or SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
  • The child has a disability or delay
  • Family meets income requirements
We’d love to partner with you to have your family as part of our school family!
 
To complete an application in English, click here!
¡Para completar una solicitud en español, haga clic aquí!
April 13, 2022 | 1:00pm-2:00pm CDT 
Online Event: Understanding the Social Security Ticket to Work Program

Ameriforce Personnel is an employment network created and operated by people with disabilities for people with disabilities. We realize that navigating Social Security and the related employment rules can be confusing and difficult. Our goal is to provide people with disabilities the knowledge and power to take control of their life and financial future.

Individuals with disabilities who receive benefits from SSA, can use the Ticket to Work Program to obtain services and supports to assist them to return to and maintain employment. They can choose to receive services from SSA approved providers called Employment Networks or State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies.

Join Sherri Stone, Ameriforce Personnel, and Jennifer Quals, Oklahoma State Department of Rehabilitation Services to learn about:
  • The incentives offered by the Social Security Administration to SSDI and SSI beneficiaries who return to work.
     
  • Services and training available to help you find a great career
     
  • Safety nets built into the Social Security Disability programs.

These services are available at no cost. Approved Employment Networks, EN’s will never ask you to pay for the cost of services.
 
Register For This Free Online Event

Navigator Spotlight
Maria Rondon

Get to know one of our amazing navigators! Maria....

1️⃣ What were you doing before Tulsa Responds? In my home country of Venezuela, I worked as a Certified Public Accountant in a non-profit organization. The main objective of that organization was to help its clients meet their economic and social needs.

2️⃣ How long have you been with Tulsa Responds? I started at Tulsa Responds in October 2020. I worked on the Internet “Connects” project for several months and really enjoyed it. After doing other things for a time, I returned to work with Tulsa Responds in July 2021 and have been a member of the health insurance team since then. I appreciate the opportunity to help clients receive Medicaid, SNAP, and ACA benefits, and work with the community. 

3️⃣ What have you been up to since you were hired? Since I started with Tulsa Responds my main objective is to help as many clients as I can receive free government benefits. I am currently focused on supporting the health insurance project where I help many Hispanic and Latino families get Soonercare and SNAP benefits and apply for Affordable Healthcare Marketplace plans. I love being able to support families through the entire process of getting these benefits, communicating with them along the way as a trusted ally. 

4️⃣ It's not unusual for you to be on the front lines, serving so many families in need. What drives your passion to help so many? I try to empathize with each family that I help to receive services through Tulsa Responds. I put myself in their shoes and provide all the advice, assistance, and information they need to navigate the barriers families experience to receiving government services. 

5️⃣ If you had a magic wand and could help solve a major problem in Tulsa, what would it be?
Health care for my Hispanic and Latino community. Many families without social security are unable to access medical services, and I find that unjust. That would be my main focus. 

6️⃣ Why do you enjoy working with Tulsa Responds? Because I work for the community. I love that we focus on helping families, solving issues with them, and guaranteeing a better quality of life for every member of every household that comes to us for help. My co-workers all have a sense of service and thrive on helping the community of Tulsa, and they show it with every project they are a part of. I am very happy to belong to this great family. It is a blessing to belong to this project and this organization. 
Promote Your Organization or Event!
 
Tulsa Responds wants to help your organization get the word out about your upcoming events and services.

Fill out the quick form, below, by April 19th and we will put it in our next newsletter.
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Tulsa Respond · 7030 S Yale Ave Ste 600 · Tulsa, OK 74136-5749 · USA