By Dan Bewley and Scott Thompson, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Tulsa's Day Center for the Homeless is getting more than a million dollars in stimulus money. It will help people on the verge of living on the streets.
Homeless advocates say this is good news for the entire Tulsa community.
Nearly 400 people use the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless every day for shelter and food. Officials there say the number of homeless in the city is slowly growing. But Friday morning they announced a new weapon to fight the issue -- $1.4 million in stimulus money to prevent Tulsans from turning to shelters.
"With this money, with this opportunity, we will be able to help people truly get back on their feet and be significantly safer in our community," said Sandra Lewis, Tulsa Day Center.
The Day Center will work with 11 other agencies in Tulsa to help families or individuals find new homes, pay utilities, or even help with the rent during a difficult time.
"We're giving them that little help that they need to keep from crumbling all the way to the bottom and now they'll be able to sustain," said Sandra Lewis.
Lewis says the program will utilize public housing in Tulsa for those who qualify, including residents with chronic health issues, those facing the foreclosure of their rented home, or someone who has been homeless in the past 12 months.
"We're going to be able to help those people to remain in their homes or, if they become homeless, get back in the home quickly," said Steve Whitaker, John 3:16 Mission.
Steve Whitaker of the John 3:16 Mission says in the last 24 months, his organization has helped close to 10,000 people who would qualify for the program. He says the money will serve an additional purpose by helping families stay in their homes. It will help them stay employed, which in turn, will stimulate the economy.
"If they're employable, they've got a job. They're going out to the grocery store, they're buying groceries, they're contributing, they're being part of our community," said Steve Whitaker.
Learn more about the program by calling the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program hotline at (918) 556-6444.