Mental Health Association Of Oklahoma Feeling The Effects Of Government Shutdown
TULSA, Oklahoma - The government shutdown is costing the Mental Health Association Oklahoma more than $60,000 a month and now the non-profit is trying to figure out how to keep helping their clients.
The money comes from a HUD grant and helps people impacted by mental illness and homelessness.
On Wednesday they learned another $10,000 grant will also be on hold while the shutdown continues.
After years of struggling with homelessness and mental illness James Watkins is in a much better place now.
"I really try not to think where I would be without them because I was there without them," said Watkins
“James represents many people and the impact it has on real people and real lives James is that example,” said Mike Brose of the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma.
10 years ago, James overheard a phone number for Mental Health Association Oklahoma. Since then, the group has helped him and close to 200 other Tulsans get back on their feet and find long term, stable housing.
"It was a blessing how I got connected with them, word of mouth and keeping my ears open got me connected with them," said Watkins.
But the grants which pay for that housing support are through HUD and not able to be processed during the shutdown. While the mental health association is able to move money around and supplement that for now they can’t hold out forever.
"This thing is cascading and its going all the way down and I think your viewers need to understand that," said Brose. "It starts to erode our ability to pay our people and pay our vendors and pay people who contract with us and provide different services"
And while James has faith the association will have his back for as long as it can.
"I'm just taking it day by day and praying about it and keeping my ears and eyes open and try to do what I can whatever part it is I can do," said Watkins.
The HUD grant that supports this program totals almost $800,000 annually for Mental Health Association Oklahoma.