Curbside Chronicle vendor Mark Lamb works on a floral design assignment during a retail floral design class last month at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City. Lamb is one of 15 Curbside vendors taking floral design classes at OSU-OKC thanks to a grant from the Inasmuch Foundation. PHOTO PROVIDED | OSU-OKC OKLAHOMA CITY — Mark Lamb surprised himself when he enrolled in college at age 47. “I never thought I would,” said Lamb, one of 15 students in a pilot program at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City that is teaching job skills to recently homeless adults. He got a second surprise when he saw a childhood friend at enrollment. Lamb and Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City President Brad Williams attended grade school together growing up in Maysville. “It blew my mind,” Lamb said. The hometown connection makes the new Back on Track Education and Training program even more significant to Williams. “It’s a testament to the point that casting a broad net to help people in need will almost always surface a familiar face,” Williams said. Lamb and the other 14 students in the program are Curbside Chronicle vendors who are completing coursework to earn OSU-OKC’s retail floral design certificate. The Curbside Chronicle is a program of the Homeless Alliance created to provide employment opportunities for people experiencing homelessness through street sales of its local magazine and flower bouquets for special occasions. The organization plans to open a year-round floral shop this year along Classen Boulevard near downtown. “It will give us more options for employment,” said Ranya O’Connor, director of Curbside Chronicle. “Our mission is unique, but we are going to be a traditional florist just like any florist.” The vendors in the Back on Track program all have transitioned into housing and now have the stability needed to take the next […]