Tulsa Nonprofit Helps Women Get Back Up On Their Feet

Friday, November 29th 2019, 7:36 pm
By: Amy Avery

A Tulsa mission, called Warrior’s refuge, is working to help those who've fallen on hard times.

"I have two kids that I had back-to-back and just me going back to work and everything, it was just hard to make ends meet,” said Skylar Simon.

Simon has been in and out of shelters for the past year, but one day she was told she and her kids were no longer able to stay there.

"We would've had to pay to stay there and we couldn't pay,” said Simon. "I didn't know what I was going to do."

Skylar came to Wesley Chapel for a meal and met Marsha Waterman from Warrior's Refuge.

Marsha saw her getting on the bus with her three young kids and suggested they stay there.

"That was devastating for me to think as a mom that she’s on the street outside during the daytime. Then she has to check in every day hoping she can get into a shelter,” said Warrior’s Refuge Founder, Marsha Waterman.

Warrior’s Refuge is a nonprofit that helps single moms, domestic violence victims, and anyone struggling to make ends meet.

“A lot of times people think they're on the street just give them money, but I don’t want to give them a handout, I want to give them a hand up,” said Waterman.

Several moms stay in Wesley Chapel with their kids until they can get back on their feet.

Wesley Chapel is nearly 110 years old and is undergoing renovations. They have even added a shower to help provide for women's refuge.

The church still works to take care of others by serving food and delivering groceries to families who are struggling to pay bills. The struggle for many goes far beyond the dinner table.

Statistics from Housing and Urban Development show nearly 4,000 Oklahomans experience homelessness on a single night, but about 600 of them still don’t have a place to go when the shelters are full.

“It’s not just picking them up and putting them into an apartment. There’s counsel of why they were where they're at. Sometimes there’s medical help, so if one church helped one person, those 600 people would now be zero,” said Waterman.

Waterman operates mostly out of her home, gathering supplies like blankets, baby formula, and kid clothes.

She says she started by simply buying toilet paper for single moms, then her ministry grew from there.

"I felt like the women who were coming needed to find the warrior that was still inside them, but at the same time they needed to find a place of peace,” said Waterman. 

Waterman works to help connect victims with WIC and affordable housing and says there's no one out there she wouldn't help.

"There’s going to be people in our path that many think they wouldn’t normally eat lunch with, or we would normally hug but I just shake that off and I do it anyway,” said Waterman.

Providing refuge for Warriors, like Skylar, who are working to get back on their feet.

"Things happen, but I am grateful that they gave me a place to stay and they are helping out a lot," said Simon. 

To help with Warrior’s Refuge, you can their Facebook page or their GoFundMe.

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