Palomar: Oklahoma City’s Family Justice Center

Palomar: Oklahoma City’s Family Justice Center
Linh M. Sasser, Marketing Coordinator, Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits

Over the next few weeks, as we spotlight the 2019 Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OKCNP) Visions honorees, we are spotlighting a nonprofit meaningful to each of the honorees.

Bill Citty, 2019 Visions President’s Award recipient, was instrumental in the development of Palomar: Oklahoma City’s Family Justice Center, and currently serves on their advisory council. In December 2015, Citty, along with the rest of the Palomar strategic planning committee, met with 120 service providers and survivors of domestic violence to learn about the barriers that keep survivors from receiving services. Six committees were formed from professionals and leaders of 47 diverse service agencies. A little over a year later, on February 2, 2017, Palomar held its grand opening.

Palomar, located at 11th and Hudson in midtown Oklahoma City, houses 28 agencies, allowing survivors to go to one location for needed services instead of going to multiple locations, when transportation is often a barrier for those in need of services.

One of the first barriers a survivor may face is knowing where to go to for services and feeling safe while doing so. When the Palomar website is first accessed from a browser, a pop-up appears on the screen letting the viewer know they can press the “exit” button if their sense of safety is at risk. The button will redirect the user to their browser’s default home page.

When a survivor is ready to receive help, they are welcome to go to Palomar at any time during business hours. When they arrive, the survivor will have a one-on-one session with a Client Navigator, who guides and connects them to the agencies from whom they will receive services.

Palomar understands, through hearing from survivors and agency workers, when a survivor arrives in need or services, they are not always an individual and they may have children or pets who are in need of services as well. Palomar offers the Rainbow Fleets for children of all ages, while their guardian receives services. In addition, Palomar partners with the Oklahoma Humane Society to provide foster care services for the pets of survivors.

Thus far in 2019, Palomar has served 140 human clients and 262 animals, many of which are located at Palomar. Agencies and services housed at Palomar include: Department of Human Services, Young Women’s Christian Association, Oklahoma Humane Society, Oklahoma City Police Department, Family Builders, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, etc.

“Getting to utilize the Animal Advocacy Program (AAP) immediately relieved so much anxiety,” said a Palomar client. “I was struggling with leaving my spouse and finding a place for all of these pets we’d adopted as a family. Rehoming them felt like a punch in the gut after everything else we were losing. The relief that the AAP gave by sheltering our family members while we regroup has been immeasurable.”

To learn more about Palomar’s services, visit their website: www.palomarokc.org.

*The featured image does not show the pet’s face and has been changed to black and white to protect the identity of the pet and their owners’.

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Bill Citty, 2019 Visions Honoree