Fallin Impressed With Tulsa's Initiative To End Homelessness

Wednesday, July 8th 2015, 11:28 pm
By: News On 6

The Oklahoma governor was in Tulsa Wednesday, learning about a city-wide initiative to end homelessness for good; she said she was impressed with the city’s effort.

Governor Mary Fallin toured two housing facilities in Tulsa; it started at the Yale Apartments, which provides housing for over 75 people who used to live on the streets.

Fallin's stop brought smiles to many faces and many people who were once homeless got to shake hands with the governor.

One of the most excited to meet her was Milton Sheppard who lives inside a fourth-floor apartment.

A series of tragic events took him away from his job as a commercial airline pilot to living on the streets until he got help from the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma and moved into the apartments.

"What else can we do? One on one support if at all possible is the best thing we can do," Sheppard said.

Now he rents a one bedroom apartment decorated with certificates showing his achievements. He's one of the hundreds who are now receiving the help and services they need.

Tulsa wants to add 400 more to that list with the Zero: 2016 campaign, which has a goal to end both chronic homeless and veteran homelessness by the end of 2016.

6/4/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Leaders On A Mission To End Homelessness By 2016

"I'm very impressed that we have housing facilities like this where they can be safe and be around other people who understand their struggles and challenges in life," Fallin said.

The goal is to house 24 homeless veterans a month and four chronically homeless people a month. On top of that, help those who are able to get jobs.

"Our veterans who have served either in the United States or overseas have tremendous skills that are needed by our employers here in Oklahoma,” the governor said.

All the organizations that are part of the campaign believe getting state leaders involved is the key to success.

One of the biggest challenges is finding enough housing. Right now there are 22 other buildings, but more are needed