Heartland Human Care Services, Inc. - The Opportunity Center

Heartland Human Care Services, Inc. - The Opportunity Center Logo

Basic Information

Address: 1286 Pipestone Road
County: Berrien
Phone Number: 269-926-2430
Fax Number: 269-926-2431
Principal: Andrea B. Grabemyer

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Heartland Human Care Services, Inc. - The Opportunity Center
Heartland Human Care Services, Inc. - The Opportunity Center
Heartland Human Care Services, Inc. - The Opportunity Center
Heartland Human Care Services, Inc. - The Opportunity Center

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Additional Information

School Type: Michigan Proprietary School

Education and Literacy Services:
• High School Completion: Instruction designed to fulfill the requirements for a high school diploma.
• GED Test Preparation: Instruction in language arts, math, social studies, science, and writing to enable successful completion of the GED test.
• Adult Basic Education: Instruction in reading, English, language arts, and math for adults. The basic literacy course teaches adults to read.
• Academic Enhancement: Content specific instruction for adults with high school degrees/GEDs preparing to enter post-secondary education.
• Computer literacy
• English as a Second Language
• Wellness education: STI prevention, nutrition, and financial literacy instruction is embedded into literacy education.

Vocational Training and Employment:
• Culinary Arts/Hospitality
• Landscaping/Agriculture Technology
• Customer Service
• Job Readiness Training
• Job coaching and placement

Services to those leaving the criminal justice system:
• Transportation assistance
• Documentation assistance
• Comprehensive case management
• Work Readiness and Preparation reintegration training
• Job coaching and placement
• Mentorship to youth offenders

Accreditation: CARF
Founded: 2007
Ages/Grades: 14+
School Setting:

In addition to traditional classrooms, our campus includes a commercial kitchen for the Culinary Arts program, a heated warehouse area for indoor Landscaping/Agriculture Tech activities, and a 15-station computer learning lab. Training is also conducted at offsite locations; for example, an urban garden site in the city of Benton Harbor is a planned main training site for Ag Tech learning.

School Schedule (Hours in Day): 8:30am-5:00pm
School Days in Calendar Year: 360
School Size: 360
Student/Teacher Ratio: 1:15

Our curriculum is based on contextualization through lessons centered on the context of careers development and exploration and job readiness skills. Once participants reach the 6th grade Reading level, as measured by the TABE test, they can enroll in our vocational programs: Culinary Arts, Landscaping/Agricultural Technology or Retail Customer Service.
Many adult education programs with a career development focus target students at higher Reading levels who are already close to GED and college ready. Part of HHCS’ philosophy of adult education delivery is based on the fact that adult students learn when they are motivated by tangible results that they can see in their personal lives and their ability to support their families. We provide career-centered adult education services to students at all reading and math levels, and focus on assisting them to gain economic security through employment. This philosophy is not only based on motivation theory but the reality that students at lower reading levels may require years to complete a GED or enter college, and have immediate employment needs which can be addressed through skill-building in the classroom.

Percentage of Graduating Class: 70%
Support Services:

The HHCS program provides participants supportive services through links and referrals to appropriate benefit and service programs. These services include, but are not limited to: transportation, financial management, childcare referrals, interpreter services, assistance with securing documentation required for work, assistance with securing proper work and interview clothing and community events celebrating success from participation. HHCS provides transportation in the form of Dial-a-Ride tokens for participation in courses, and as needed during the first three-weeks of employment to ensure that transportation is not a barrier to participation or employment success. Staff support the participant in developing a long-term plan to meet transportation needs after employment. Case Manager/Employment Coordinators connect participants to childcare agencies and services. For those participating whose native language is not English, the site may also provide language interpreters to support continued participation. For employment-related uniforms or tools, HHCS may assist with the purchase to ensure employment.

Summer School: Yes
Computer Capabilities:

The Opportunity Center is the first Michigan State University Learning Lab site in Southwest Michigan and utilizes a 15 computer lab to hold classes and assist participants with writing resumes, learning computer skills, applying for employment.

Parking Spaces/Availability:

2 parking lots

Mission Statement:

The mission of Heartland Alliance is to advance the human rights and to respond to the human needs of people living in poverty or danger through the provision of comprehensive and respectful services and the promotion of permanent solutions leading to a more just global society. Heartland Human Care Services, Inc. aims to achieve freedom from want, fear, and injustice for people marginalized by poverty, displacement, or situations of vulnerability by developing and providing a continuum of services that meet basic needs (including the development of affordable and supportive housing), build strengths, safeguard human rights, and provide opportunities for positive change. The goals of the Opportunity Center are to help residents: 1) increase literacy and numeracy levels; 2) increase education or job training; 3) secure and retain employment; and, 4) increase family income levels.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

We are committed to honoring the rights of every human being, to respecting differences, and to giving you the freedom to choose the services that will most meet your needs. We value your strengths, your wisdom, and your experience and will do our best to incorporate them into our relationship with you.

The following represents what you can expect as a program participant in Heartland Alliance, expressed in the words of people who were receiving services at the time this brochure was created.

Respect for human rights
We will promote your dignity as a human being.
• “I am not treated beneath what I am worth.”
• “I receive equal treatment.”
• “I am given the right to achieve things.”
• “I’m encouraged to go to health care and housing rallies. Staff recognizes I have something to say.”

Strength-based assessment and intervention
We will work with you to identify your strengths and will use them to support your ability to live and thrive in the community.
• “Staff are very resourceful and if they don’t know something, they find someone who does.”
• “Staff encouraged me around school and work when I wasn’t at a place to do it for myself.”
• “Staff have noticed strengths in me I didn’t know I had.”

A harm reduction approach
We will help you identify consequences of alcohol and drug use and other risky behaviors and work with you to reduce the harm of those consequences. You are not required to be abstinent in order to receive all services. Staff will listen to what’s most important to you. We recognize that you are the one who will decide what actions to take or not.
• “I thought I had to do something to get this room. I didn’t.”
• “I was hustling. I was in harm’s way. Now I’m not so tired.”
• “Harm reduction means moderation.”
• “Harm reduction assists me with making choices so I don’t harm myself.”

Trauma-informed care
We recognize that everyone who seeks services here has survived much loss and pain in their lives and we strive to treat that pain respectfully.
• “I am able to tell my story when I’m ready.”
• “Staff ask me questions that open me up.”
• “When I walked in the door, I realized homelessness is traumatic.”
• “Mental illness is traumatic.”

Services that invite, recognize, and embrace differences
Because we know that our community is stronger when we honor differences, we are committed to respecting each individual’s background, culture, and personal beliefs.
• “You get to break down all those stereotypes.”
• “Some of us have more serious problems and we’re all respected.”
• “I am treated like an individual person. I have my goals and I am not compared to others.”
• “Being different is embraced here at Heartland.”