The City of Tulsa begins its second week of an outreach program to help the homeless in Tulsa.
The 8-day "Operation Direct and Connect" program is geared toward helping those who are homeless connect with social services in the city. The program is a partnership with the Tulsa Police Department, Tulsa Fire Department, the Working in Neighborhoods department, and municipal courts; along with the Mental Health Association Oklahoma and Family and Children's Services. The groups will work to figure out what those who are living on the streets need, then set them up with the agencies that can help.
Operation Direct and Connect started in 2018. That year the teams collected data after they met 260 homeless people, interviewed 188, and helped 51 resolve outstanding municipal warrants.
This year the teams hope to get a better grasp on the magnitude of homelessness in Tulsa. They want to use the information they gather to update their solutions plan and eventually reduce homelessness numbers. Tulsa Police Captain Shellie Seibert said, "you can't have solutions until you understand the problems."
One week after the program, municipal courts will hold a ‘Special Services Docket,’ which is a program that allows the homeless to potentially clear warrants and fines.