Employment Program

Connecting to Meaningful Employment 

When we work, we thrive. A job can be the first step towards health, sobriety, and fulfillment. That’s why, along with achieving housing, we believe employment should come first. How can you do both housing and employment first? Our employment services work alongside in-house and community services, assisting people wherever they may be on their path to recovery. Just like the internationally acclaimed Housing First model, the Employment First model seeks to remove barriers while also prioritizing individual choice and self-determination.

Our goal is to provide assistance to people who would otherwise be excluded from the workforce so that every person is afforded the opportunity to be independent and self-sustaining.

Employment First

Our Employment First division encompasses several work programs that are based on the following 8 beliefs:

Focus on competitive employment.  We believe that more often than not, people living with a mental illness are able to be fully integrated into the general workplace. Our priority is to help people find jobs that are reflective of their skill set and background, in a competitive work environment.

Client choice. Employment service recipients are not excluded on the basis of readiness, diagnoses, symptoms, substance use history, psychiatric hospitalizations, homelessness, level of disability, or legal system involvement.

Integrated mental health services. Employment services work side by side with mental health teams and providers, working toward holistic solutions for every person.

Attention to worker preference. Our services are based on each person’s preference, rather than our own judgments. Still, our team helps provide direction and guidance for people who may not be sure what their preferences are.

Personalized benefits counseling. Employment specialists help people obtain personalized, understandable, and accurate information about their Social Security, Disability, Medicare/Medicaid, and other government entitlements.

Rapid job search. By limiting lengthy pre-employment assessments and training, we seek to get people looking for work as soon as possible.

Systematic job development. We are consistently outreaching local employers based on the needs of people we serve in order to learn about local business needs and hiring practices while maintaining an accessible database for job seekers.

Time unlimited and individualized support. Job supports are individualized and continue for as long as each worker wants and needs the support.

How It Works

Our current program intake capability varies by program. Referrals can be made by our case managers and other various internal programs. If you are curious about what assistance may be available to you, you can contact us by calling: 918-585-1213; be sure and ask about Employment First!

Our Programs

The Altamont Bakery

Since 2011, this bakery has been “baking its way to a better world, one cookie at a time.” Our team of bakers gathers weekly to produce award winning cookies that are sold within the community. With a social enterprise spirit, bakers are provided a living wage and a chance at recovery.

Transitional Employment

For most people, competitive employment is all that is needed to get someone back on their feet. For some, though, entering the workplace again can be overwhelming. Our transitional employment services provide added support and assistance for those looking to eventually move back into the workplace, who may face more significant barriers to employment.

The Art Core Project

A new and budding initiative, the Art Core Project is the beginning of an ongoing relationship with the Tulsa art community. As we collaborate with local artistic figures, we hope to bring about opportunities to unite our community through creativity and mental health advocacy and education.

Westat Supported Employment Demonstration

Another new project, the Westat Demonstration is a large-scale research study sponsored by the Social Security Administration that seeks to help individuals who were recently denied disability benefits find steady and competitive work by providing supported employment and behavioral health services.

A Better Way Tulsa

Inspired by a groundbreaking employment program in Albuquerque, New Mexico, A Better Way Tulsa offers real change by …
Giving people experiencing homelessness who panhandle an alternative to panhandling three days a week.
Paying no less than six participants a day’s wages to beautify our community during each service day.
Connecting participants with life-changing services in the community, such as housing, mental health and addiction treatment, and other more sustainable employment services.

Check out A Better Way’s official City of Tulsa website at www.abetterwaytulsa.org!

If you are interested in learning more about our Employment First program please call 918.585.1213 and ask about Employment First.

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