HUD money will help Tulsa's homeless

Monday, February 14th 2005, 9:47 am
By: News On 6

It's $2-million that will go a long way to helping Tulsa's homeless. "They say giving is better than receiving, but we're happy to receive today." Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune accepted a check Monday from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The more-than-$2-million will be split between six agencies that help get needy Tulsans off the streets.

News on 6 anchor Terry Hood met someone who knows just how important this money is.

Spencer Hutchinson knows firsthand what it means to be homeless and what it means to have a roof over your head once again. We met up with him at his new home just south of downtown. It's part of a transitional housing program run by the Mental Health Association of Tulsa.

Spencer is a recovering alcoholic. He told the News on 6 when some do-gooders found him; he was sleeping on cardboard behind a gas station. All of his family had abandoned him and the slippery slope of alcoholism had led him nowhere. He took his first drink at 14 and was hooked. Spencer says from his years on the street, he knows alcohol and homelessness go hand in hand. "Most of them have a mental illness that needs to be addressed and most of them are just out there drinking and drugging trying to medicate themselves."

Spencer's turn-around is a real success story.