Tulsa's Success At Helping Homeless Captured By Film Crew

Friday, August 28th 2015, 11:32 pm
By: News On 6

A documentary is being filmed on the streets of Tulsa about homelessness. Tulsa is one of three cities featured in the film, which will be distributed to agencies across the country.

Friday, the production crew reached out to homeless people and tried to convince them to get help, while cameras rolled.

While not every homeless person wanted to be on camera, others were more than willing to get the help they need.

Bethany Willyard walked into familiar territory at Centennial Park.

"I am a 20-plus year recovering meth addict. I've been clean three years, I have been to prison, I have been homeless, I have been in and out of mental institutions," she said.

Willyard now works at the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, helping others find their way out of homelessness.

Willyard: "Where are you staying at at night right now?”
Sharp: “I'm trying to move out by the river."

A film crew is following her around, filming a documentary for the Federal Government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which will be distributed to agencies across the country.

Willyard: "It's been kind of a struggle having this beautiful dog with you?”
Sharp: “Yes."

Terry Sharp said he's been worried about meeting with a mental health professional because he can't take his dog, Shelby, inside.

"A lot of things I can't do because I have to leave my dog out," he said.

Willyard told him they are launching a new project, where he can bring Shelby and keep her in a crate while getting help.

Willyard: "Is that something that would help you?”
Sharp: “Yes, yes it would."

Tulsa has become a model for other agencies due to its high success rate with getting people housing and services they need.

More than half of the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma's employees have struggled with mental illness, like Willyard.

Recovery Services Director, Mark Davis said, "It can be a valuable asset and improve the quality of service you are giving to the people you are supposed to be serving."

It's a unique concept that is obviously working.

"People helping other people, and we all help each other, praise the Lord," Sharp said.

The crew wrapped up filming Friday and is moving on to Baltimore for the next shoot.