Local Group Attempts To Convert Former Detention Center To New Housing

Sunday, September 6th 2020, 10:02 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero

TULSA, Okla. -

A group of Tulsa citizens are asking for the public's help getting the former juvenile detention center ready to become new homes for hundreds of people.

"I think it's really positive to see that people are spending Labor Day weekend to come in and really bless this place with hard work," volunteer Erin Martin said. 

Martin said the group of about a dozen volunteers have made great progress in the week they had to finish the job. 

However, there is still much more that needs to be done to transform the abandoned detention center into Tulsa's new Emergency Overflow shelter. 

The $1.5 million shelter was paid for with CARES Act funding to give the homeless population a place to go for shelter and a second chance.

"We have a group of concerned citizens who are coming out really just to help clean up the space and paint and clean and really just bring some good vibes," Martin said. 

Cleaning the 40,000-square foot building has been a daunting task with one more day to finish it before the homeless move in on Tuesday.

The project is personal for Devin Williams.

"People dedicated their time and energy to help me and prevent me from being in similar situations that people are in right now. But a lot of people didn't have that luxury," Williams said. "I think that’s what’s important in our society. If you see someone who needs help, it’s very important that you do help them. To me, that is just price of admission of being a human being.”

Williams said it feels good to know how far they have come, but there is still a long way to go to make it a home. They are asking anyone willing to help to lend a hand. 

"I want you to imagine yourself at your most desperate point in your life and I want you to imagine who was there to help you and then get out and help," Williams said. 

The group needs volunteers from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to bring supplies as well as cleaning and painting.

To volunteer, contact Erin Martin at 818-288-7771 or via email (erin@expertonaging.com).