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Inking Out Homelessness in Oklahoma City

A screen printing company is among the Homeless Alliance’s latest efforts to provide job skills and employment opportunities.




Inking Out Homelessness in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City’s Homeless Alliance recently opened a new screen printing company with the aim of providing local people job skills to help transition them out of homelessness.

Curbside Apparel started as a pilot project, with grants helping to fund the purchase of the necessary equipment, The Oklahoman reports. The Homeless Alliance then collaborated with the local career and technology center, Metro Tech, to create a screen printing curriculum for program participants. Completing the training course earns them screen printing certification, and they subsequently work with Curbside Apparel for eight to twelve months. Afterwards, participants can use their acquired skills to seek employment in other screen printing businesses.

The program follows in the footsteps of other successful Homeless Alliance ventures, such as the Curbside Chronicle street magazine, Curbside Flowers, and Sasquatch Shaved Ice. The idea is to create a business that individuals want to join rather than matching them with jobs they wouldn’t necessarily enjoy, says Dan Straughan, executive director at the Homeless Alliance. “We have the magazine, and that’s one type of model. The snow cone stand is a food service model, and the floral design is really nice, but some people, maybe they’re not a flower person or a food service person, and being in a production environment like this is a good fit for them,” Straughan told The Oklahoman.

Curbside Apparel has already gathered support from the local community and organizations seeking screen printing services. The company has fulfilled orders for custom T-shirts, posters, and other items from various companies and groups, including the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Downtown OKC, and Allegiance Credit Union. The Homeless Alliance says the long-term goal is to establish a hub that would bring successful Curbside social enterprise models to other communities throughout the state.



Let’s Talk About It

Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry

LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.

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