DeJon Knapp is a recent MSW graduate from the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work at the University of Oklahoma, where she was the first graduate from the OU-Tulsa campus to receive a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. She currently serves as the Street Outreach Coordinator at Youth Services of Tulsa where she has worked for over 4 years.
As Street Outreach Coordinator, Knapp manages the Street Outreach team and The Station, a drop-in center for homeless youth ages 16-24. Her work focuses on positive youth development and trauma informed care practices to both build relationships and meet the basic needs of vulnerable youth populations. Knapp has worked to implement wellness programming into Street Outreach, which includes weekly trauma informed yoga classes and creative outlets for participants. She prides herself in the unique relationships she has built with each young person served. Knapp is also an active participant with various community groups that focus on service and response to homelessness, encampment outreach, data collection, human trafficking, advocacy, domestic violence, mental health, and substance abuse. She has been involved in the partnership between Youth Services of Tulsa and the OU School of Community Medicine for the last several years, working directly with the OU health team as well as directly supervising two peer Community Health Workers embedded in the Street Outreach program. The partnership works to improve provider trust among street youth and increase medical clinic access. Knapp’s most recent endeavor includes seeking her clinical social work license as she, under supervision, is managing a caseload of counseling clients from the Street Outreach program.
Before moving to Tulsa and beginning her work with Youth Services of Tulsa, Knapp graduated from the University of Oklahoma in Norman with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Following graduation, she changed her interest from the stories in books to the stories of people’s lives and began working for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services in Child Welfare, where she discovered her passion for advocacy and working with youth and families.
Knapp recently returned to her background in writing and published her first freelance article with The Tulsa Voice, titled, “Out of the Box” that focuses on the criminalization of homelessness in Tulsa and in the United States. View the article for more of her original photography.
Knapp is also an active volunteer in her community, serving as a DVIS/Call Rape volunteer, Safe Place volunteer and a founding member of a local feminist organization, The Strong Arm Coalition, which works to build community through shared experiences, educational opportunities, and community events.
Posted on Tue, December 16, 2014
by Amy Arnold filed under