Tulsa Organizations Making Preparations To Help Homeless As Temperatures Drop
TULSA, Oklahoma - As the cold weather dips in Tulsa, organizations like the Salvation Army and John 3:16 are ramping up.
"We've laid in the hot chocolate we've laid in the coffee we've laid in the food, we've got staff all primed and ready to go in case the weather event gets worse then what we think," said Rev. Steve Whitaker, the CEO and Senior Pastor of the John 3:16 Mission
Rev. Whitaker says efforts are already underway to warn the homeless and get them inside because the cold can be deadly.
"We call it killer cold here at John 3:16 and it does every year take somebody's life if not several and so that's a serious issue," said Whitaker.
He says his team is prepared for long hours over the next several days.
"We expect for everything to be full, we expect every bed to be filled and probably sleeping people in the lobby and maybe fully and overflow sleeping people on the floor in the cafeteria," said Whitaker.
Across town at the Salvation Army, they too are getting ready for the cold temperatures to help the homeless.
"We kind of implement an extreme temperature extreme weather policy which allows us to open our doors overlook some usual guidelines to allow folks to come in and find warmth," said Major Mark Harwell, Area Commander for the Salvation Army in Tulsa.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 377 people are homeless on a given night in Northeast Oklahoma. Rev. Whitaker says it takes organizations like John 3:16, the Salvation Army, the Day Center, and the Mental Health Association to meet a common goal.
"Our end game is we help everybody go home," said Whitaker.