Tulsa's John 3:16 Mission Sees A Rise In Homeless Population During 2020

Sunday, January 3rd 2021, 8:13 am
By: News On 6


With the pandemic causing people to lose their jobs and homes, homelessness is increasing across the state.

Reverend Steve Whitaker the CEO of John 3:16 says it was both the darkest and the most blessed year he has seen since he started working at the shelter. The financial struggles of COVID-19 have made it hard for people to make ends meet and caused the nation's homeless population to rise.

Whitaker says even though he saw an increase in homelessness as the year went on his biggest concern is having to limit the shelter space for the homeless. He says some of the hardest moments for him last year was having to say no to people looking for a place to sleep because of capacity limits that were put because of COVID-19.

Whitaker says also saw some positives from 2020. He says he's extremely grateful for the amount of people from employees to volunteers that have stepped up to help people in need.

The biggest thing he has seen from the homeless who come into John 3:16 is that they've keep faith even when times are tough.

"If they're separated from their families from addiction or just bad luck a lot of those people are looking for faith as THE key element in their recovery," said Whitaker.

Whitaker also says when it gets cold outside the shelter does whatever they can to make sure everyone can come and have a place to stay no matter the capacity.