About Us

 

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"The person has two hands, one for helping himself, the other for helping others." - Sayings

OCARE Inc., is short for Owsley County Alliance for Recreation & Entertainment Incorporated. Our mission is to improve our county by bringing new social, cultural, educational, and economic opportunities to our small, yet wonderful community.

 

In 2014, OCARE became an established non-profit, set on the goal of restoring and reopening the blighted Seale Theater.  The hope was to provide economic and positive recreational opportunities for our at-risk youth and flailing community.

OCARE is Comprised of Two Separate Initiatives

The Booneville/Seale Theater Project which is focused on:

  • Arts

  • Economic impact

  • Community redevelopment

  • Community wellness

  • Tourism

The Parent Taskforce is focused on:

  • Educational impact

  • Family engagement and parent advocacy

  • Supporting at-risk youth

  • Supporting individuals who are raising children other than their own

  • Supporting families who are in recovery and re-entry

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Our Story

OCARE became an official 501©3 in 2014 but the original work began in 2010 during a place-based education project with a group of 10th graders at Owsley County High School and their teacher Mr. Brett Burns, Eastern Kentucky University and a dedicated group of community volunteers.  The focus of the project was finding out about the impacts of the vacant and blighted Seale Theater, as well as what it would mean to the community to restore it.  The group came to the consensus that since one of the only positive places of recreation for Owsley's at-risk youth and families had been closed, things had steadily fallen into decline.  Youth were getting involved in nefarious activities. Drug and substance abuse were on the rise and people were spending their money going elsewhere for recreation.  Businesses were closing and the town became more vacated and blighted during each passing decade.  Crime had also greatly increased, and our community was a reflection of the blighted buildings that time had left behind.

Since our inception, we have delivered programming to our community in multiple different ways with only a dedicated group of volunteers/or no paid staff.  

We are an organization that is an all-volunteer staff that is exclusively woman led who works hard to improve the outcomes for our community and citizens.

 

Our Vision

Is to create a place where our community is once again proud of our people our place and our heritage but who is also able to envision a brighter future for ALL of our town, county and citizens.

Meet Our Volunteer Working Board

Our Goals

Are to create a bridge between all community partners and resources that will enable us to have an expansive holistic approach to healing our community.

Our Values

  • Empowering Individuals: We believe that ALL people have great potential.  Providing individuals, the social capital and support to thrive, our citizens will feel more empowered to take on new challenges of growth and innovation.

  • Community Commitment: We are strongly committed to helping our community flourish and grow by developing workforce opportunities for ALL the citizens of our community.

  • Equity and Inclusion: We believe that everyone deserves to live a full and fulfilling life in a community that is safe and that provides opportunities for all backgrounds to succeed and grow.

  • Wellbeing: We work to provide safe spaces for the youth and families in our community to live, learn, play, work and grow.  We take a community wide holistic approach in helping our community to become a better place.

  • Community Collaboration: We appreciate the importance of teamwork through a diverse group of partnerships within our community, as well as partnership regionally and nationally that can help us to reach our goals.  Working together for the betterment of the whole will, help our community to thrive, grow and to heal.

Our Work

  • Programming for At-risk Youth (Mentoring such as the Red-Tie Club for Middle School boys

  • Proactive programming for students and families (Adults Raising Other's Children (AROC)

  • Parent Leadership Development

  • Arts and Healing Workshops

  • FAFSA Completion

  • Volunteer Opportunities

  • Life Skills Training

  • Financial Literacy

  • Ready to Work and WIOA Placement Opportunities

  • KTAP Service Location Opportunity

A Few of Our Accomplishments

  • Became owners of the Seale Theater

  • Won a competitive EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grant

  • We have nine Commonwealth Institute of Parent Leaders in our committees and Board

  • We have written and produced six original plays

  • Our Booneville Community Theater Group has members ranging from 13 - 70+

Our Partners

  • This is not an all-inclusive list of partnerships of OCARE.  We are always looking for new partnerships, resources and support to help us to achieve to work and the goals of our organization:

    • Partners for Education/Partners for Rural Impact

    • Mountain Association (formerly MACED)

    • Owsley County Action Team​

    • Partnership Housing

    • City of Booneville

    • Owsley County Public Library

    • Save the Children

    • UNITE

    • KRADD

    • Owsley's Faith Based Community

    • Owsley County Fiscal Court

    • Owsley County High School FRYSC

    • Owsley County School District

    • SOAR

    • Brushy Fork Institute

    • Hazard Community and Technical College

    • Middle Kentucky WIOA Program

Our Future Dreams and Plans

  • Grow our Workforce Development Program

  • Establish more childcare options for working parents/caregivers

  • Grow our Community Theater Program

  • Grow our Mentoring Program

  • To increase our outreach to Adults Raising Other’s Children

  • Continue to provide a location for Ready to Work and WIOA Students as well as the possibility of permanent job placements.

  • To serve on the City’s Strategic Planning Committee to contribute to their community development plan that includes new businesses, workforce development, entrepreneurial opportunities, tourism and the redevelopment of blighted buildings and infrastructure.

  • Continue supporting the school district in areas of family engagement and student supports.

  • Using community engagement as part of treatment for recovery and aftercare.

  • Helping those who are in recovery and aftercare to find their place within the community without the stigma of addiction or incarceration.

  • To help our youth to learn about a “sense of place,” through authentic and relevant learning opportunities that will encourage them to invest in their community as changemakers.

  • Increase financial literacy

  • To find funding sources that will enable us to secure a full-time staff that will support the work of our organization