Local Nonprofit Provides New Life For OKC's Homeless Community


Friday, October 15th 2021, 6:31 pm
By: Mike Glover


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Curbside Flowers at 522 N. Classen Boulevard is a local nonprofit that is not only creating amazing floral designs; they are also changing lives. 

The flower shop and employment program with the Homeless Alliance employs people who are transitioning out of homelessness. 

“Anything that you can think of where you can use flowers for an occasion, we can make you something beautiful and our product just happen to have a beautiful purpose to it,” said Ranya Forgotson with the Homeless Alliance. 

It all started about five years ago for Valentine’s Day. The demand was huge, and customers wanted more.

“Well, I want flowers outside of just Valentine’s Day. I want them for birthdays and anniversaries. And so, we realized that we could employ people year around,” said Forgotson. 

It was the opportunity that literally saved Rayma Perez’s life. 

“If it wasn’t for the people at Curbside and the Homeless Alliance pushing me to keep going, to search myself, I would not be here right now,” said Perez. 

Perez, a victim of domestic violence, lost her home and got hooked on drugs for about two and a half years. 

“I used to sleep outside that 7-Eleven, right over there on 10th and Western,” said Perez. 

Now, she’s employed at Curbside and life is good 

“We work with a lot of different individuals who have different backgrounds and different stories, but one storyline is very similar. (It) Is that they want to work. They want to have employment and provide for themselves,” said Forgotson. 

For Perez, the opportunity for employment was exactly what she needed.

“I feel wonderful working here. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else,” said Perez. 

Curbside just put out their fall arrangements. You can order online at www.curbsideflowers.com and have them delivered or simply come by the store on Classen and see what’s available.