Tulsa Shelters Prepare For Max Capacity During Frigid Temps
TULSA, Oklahoma - With extreme cold moving into Tulsa, homeless shelters around the city are packed, some even over capacity.
Shelters downtown said they're expecting as many as 50 to even 100 more people than they're comfortably able to house.
"I just want them to know that on nights like tonight they don't have to stay out in this," said Jason Harvey
Harvey, 47, knows what it's like to sleep in the cold. He was on the streets two years ago.
"I wound up sleeping on the ground without a tent, without a blanket in 20-degree weather," he said.
Jason admits he hit rock bottom in 2016.
"Shame, guilt, you really don't want to tell anyone you're going through this," Harvey said.
Years of a painkiller addiction after a car accident turned heroin addiction cost him his marriage, house, car, and nearly his 10-year-old son.
"I really didn't know where to go. I had never been through anything like that and I had no idea there were resources available like John 3:16," Harvey said.
Through John 3:16, Jason has turned his life around.
"When it's this cold we're open if people come up and knock on the door at 2o'clock in the morning," said Reverend Steve Whitaker.
Whitaker said he expects that knock and will make room.
There are 150 beds and another 150 can stay warm in the lobby and sleep on mats. The goal is to get folks out of the cold.
And what sometimes looks like just belongings on sidewalks, there are people there calling that home.
Jason knows that home well and hopes in time they too take the step to turn their lives around.
"I see myself in every one of them. I know what they're going through," he said.
It's not easy knowing as we head to bed that some are out in the cold right now.
If you’re looking to help, monetary donations to a shelter is one way, while the other is to let a shelter know when you see someone in need so they can make contact.