Foundation Temporarily Pauses ‘Night Light Tulsa’ Homeless Outreach Due To COVID-19


Friday, August 20th 2021, 9:42 pm
By: William Blanchette


TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa's City Lights foundation is temporarily stopping its Night Light Tulsa outreach for the homeless due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

It's held every Thursday night in downtown to provide the homeless with food and clothing.

"I really hoped the first time would be the only time that we would have to put Night Light on hold,” Executive Director, Sarah Grounds said.

For Grounds, it wasn't an easy decision. 

"With the increase in COVID numbers right now, we wanted to do our part in making sure we promote health and safety,” Grounds said.

The City Lights Foundation of Oklahoma would host Night Light Tulsa under the Maybelle bridge, where volunteers would give food and clothing to the homeless. However, Grounds said the most important thing they would provide is community.

"While we know that everyone has needs out there, the biggest thing we do is learn someone's name, sit down at a table and talk to them and just provide an area where people can come and relax,” Grounds said.

In just the last week alone, the nonprofit said it’s seen triple the number of neighbors isolating in the COVID-19 wing at its City Lights Hotel.

Grounds said they’re replacing Night Light Tulsa with their Mobile Lights Outreach, which they'll drive to different locations in Tulsa to provide help. 

"It exposes less volunteers to that and also it is a little more controlled in making sure that we are safe,” Grounds said.

Grounds said COVID-19 has brought one new challenge after another. However, she said it's seeing the smiles on their faces that keeps them going. 

"Is that comradery and the relationships that we have in knowing that it is making a difference in our community,” Grounds said.

Grounds said they plan to monitor COVID-19 numbers so they can decide when to start Night Light Tulsa back up again.