Group To Convert Tulsa Motel Into Homeless Outreach Center

Wednesday, May 30th 2018, 6:42 am
By: Joseph Holloway

A Tulsa nonprofit group is taking over a motel in the 1000 block of South Garnett known for its high crime rate.

The Oklahoma Family Empowerment Center filed their letter of intent Tuesday to purchase the Economy Inn.

Pastor Sharyn Cosby of In The Spirit Christian Church, who is the organization's executive director, says it won't be a homeless shelter, but an outreach center. She says they will provide various services for the homeless population in Tulsa, giving them a place to learn work skills.

"Those who the police call transient criminals, we want them out of here. But those who want to do better, we want to them a helping hand to do exactly that," Cosby said.

There are about a half-dozen motels in the 11th and Garnett corridor with a high crime rate. News On 6 has covered several shootings, stabbings and drug crimes in the area and Tulsa Police say many of them involve homeless people.

Cosby says she's talked to the residents and believes a lot of these people just need help getting back on their feet.

"There is a lot of homelessness, there is a lot of drugs, a lot of prostitution, a lot of criminal activity, but there is also a lot of good people here who are homeless either by choice or others who just fell on hard times," said Pastor Sharyn Cosby.

If the sale goes through, the plan is to open the outreach building by the end of the year.

Pastor Cosby says their group hopes to use more motels in the area or help other organizations do the same. 

Right now, she says the Oklahoma Family Empowerment Center is looking for donations to help with the cause.