What We Do

Harvest House is a faith based 501(c)(3) social services agency helping fill the gap between the various governmental entitlement programs and the realities of the lives of the poor and needy due to traumatic and unexpected events in their lives. Services are delivered by appointment to qualified individuals based entirely on need.  Services are always delivered on a nondiscriminatory basis.  It is a well-managed operation that very effectively leverages its limited financial resources through all-volunteer staff to deliver high quality services to as many qualified clients as possible.

Our Programs

Food for Families Program

Clients with Wednesday appointments are presented a menu of grocery items available that day, including frozen meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and varying grocery items they can select from to meet their family’s nutrition needs and tastes.  Harvest House will scale the quantities of each food group to the size of the household, endeavoring to provide seven days worth of healthy, nutritious food for the entire household.  The food will be bagged and ready for delivery to the client’s automobile at the end of the client’s appointment.

Harvest House delivered groceries to 2,747 households in 2016.  These households are composed of over 6,200 individuals, with about 1,800 children, and over 700 elderly numbered among them.  Over 10,000 grocery bags full of healthy, nutritious food was placed into the pantries of our poorest neighbors.  About 186,000 pounds, or 93 tons, of quality, nutritious food was delivered. The actual cash needed to operate this program was about $40,000 to feed 2,747 families in 2016, for an average of less than $15.00 for seven days of food for each household.

Emergency Food Program

We prefer to serve our clients by appointment on Wednesdays to enable us to deliver services from all of our programs for the household.  But circumstances in the clients’ lives do not always permit this scheduling.  If a client walks into Harvest House without an appointment and the household is lacking food, Harvest House will give them one or more (depending on household size) bags of non-perishable food items to tide them over until additional food sources can assist the household.  These bags are full of nourishing food that is shelf stable, and we will add bread, maybe a frozen item or so and any fresh fruits or vegetables we have in our refrigerators.  Nobody should ever leave Harvest House hungry. Almost 900 households were served by the emergency food program in 2016 and a larger outcome is expected to be achieved during 2017.

Sack Lunch Program

Clients who walk in during open office hours (usually Monday through Thursday between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM) who are hungry and in need of immediate food nutrition are eligible to receive one sack lunch per person present.  Sack lunches are fresh and maintained daily on our premises.  The sack lunch will always consist of a sandwich made of bread, meat and/or cheese, and a possible assortment of: package of chips, cheese and crackers, a fruit drink or water, raisons, nutrition bar or nuts.  They are welcome to eat this meal on our premises if they choose to do so. We gave 717 sack lunches to our clients in 2016.

Clothing and Household Goods Program

Harvest House receives donations of clothing and household items from various sources.  Occasionally a retailer will donate a large amount of new clothing.  These items are carefully evaluated and only high quality gently used or new items will be cleaned, sorted and placed on clothing racks organized by season, style, garment type, color and size.  These items are displayed to enable our clients to have a quality shopping experience selecting the items that are needed by their household members.  We endeavor to give the client a shopping experience equivalent to any nice second-hand clothing shop.  Clients generally take home two head-to-toe outfits of clothing per household member and perhaps another bag containing household goods, but extenuating circumstances are taken into consideration as additional needs are understood. Overall on average we see about ten items of clothing selected for each client visit; we gave about 28,000 clothing items to our needy clients in 2016.

Utilities Assistance Program

Our clients are often forced to choose between food for their families, clothes for the household and paying for utilities.  With Oklahoma’s extreme weather conditions in both winter and summer, heat and electricity are vital for comfort, but can become a life support issue, especially if young children or elderly family members are in the household.  Harvest House can contribute $50.00 in assistance in the form of utility bill payments on behalf of our clients if their utilities are about to be disconnected.  We paid about $27,000 in utility bills in 2016.  Although we cannot pay the entire bill in most cases, the payments we make usually result in gaining another month for the client to gather the funds to make the full payment and have continued utility service.  And we can show them how to get the balance paid through help from other agencies in the Tulsa area.

Transportation Assistance Program

When a client has a confirmed job interview or medical appointment, but does not have the means to transport himself to and from that appointment, Harvest House will give the client bus tokens (or sometimes a gasoline card from Quik Trip) to enable him to be present for that appointment.  Since we have very limited financial resources, we must make phone calls to verify these appointments before this assistance is delivered.  We do not advertise or promote this program, but when an interviewer becomes aware of these circumstances we can offer this help to our client.

Infant Services Program

Infant Services provides infant formula, baby and toddler food, diapers, blankets, clothing and other basic necessities for infants and toddlers from newborn to age three.  Based on availability of items, we provide up to a week’s supply of diapers, two cans of formula, a pack of baby or toddler food, several seasonal items of clothing, bottles, a pack of wipes, a sleeper, socks, blanket or other miscellaneous items, as well as a toy and perhaps a children’s book. Appointments are recommended, and we take referrals from other agencies.  We served 446 households with infants through this program in 2016, giving them 4,600 items of clothing and almost 23,000 clean diapers.

Christmas at Harvest House Program

This is a program we have operated for several years but never communicated to the public, but it has become a tradition of our agency.  Throughout the year the volunteers in the Clothing and Household Goods Department look for special bargains at local retailers and also make purchases of gift items that are stored for the holiday season.  Sometimes donated items are new or like new that are also appropriate for gifts.  Beginning after Thanksgiving the program operates every week until Christmas.  Each client coming into Harvest House by appointment goes to the gift table and is given the opportunity to select one gift for themselves and one gift to give to each member of their household.  These gifts are wrapped and sent home along with the food and clothing they came for that day.  This program ensures our clients will have a gift to give each family member at Christmas. We gave over 250 wrapped gifts to our clients in 2016.

Education Harvest House has only its eight programs to help the needy.  But, there is a continuum of care available through hundreds of Tulsa area agencies that, taken together, can solve almost any problem a client can present.  Our interviewers help educate the client in understanding how to access all the relevant Tulsa community resources to meet client needs that Harvest House is not equipped to fulfil.  And then we show the client job opportunities and/or educational opportunities in our ongoing programs to empower the poor in the Tulsa area.

New Pilot Program for Vision Care

Harvest House is testing a new pilot program in 2017 that will deliver both an eye examination and, if needed, custom crafted eyeglasses for those clients who qualify.  If the pilot program accomplishes its objectives we hope to add this as a new program beginning in 2018.