‘We’re saving lives’; local nonprofits open their doors to those in need amidst freeze
by Mckenzie Richmond, KTUL Staff
‘We’re saving lives’; local nonprofits open their doors to those in need amidst freeze (Mckenzie Richmond/ KTUL).
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) —
Many of us bracing the cold as we walk from our front door to our car door or to work but think about those that don’t have an insulated shelter or heating to keep them warm.
Nonprofits in Tulsa are opening their doors to those in need amid below-freezing temperatures.
With current temperatures, EMSA says frostbite can set in within less than 15 minutes of cold exposure if not dressed properly, and hypothermia can follow shortly after and be life-threatening.
Nonprofits like the Tulsa Day Center say opening their doors is the least they can do.
For anyone seeking shelter from the extreme cold, there are several warming stations open in Tulsa through the day and night.
John 3:16, Salvation Army Center of Hope, Denver Avenue Station, and the Tulsa Day Center.
Each of these warming centers is running at capacity.
At the Tulsa Day Center, the capacity is 100 people during the day.
The Day Center, like so many nonprofits, is now overflowing, but rather than turning anyone away they’ve reached out to other organizations in the area to shelter those in need amidst the freezing temperatures.
“I believe we’re saving lives,” Mack Haltom, Tulsa Day Center CEO, said. “There’s no doubt about that. There are overflow shelters all over the city. There’s one just right across the street to Avalon that we’re working with. the amazing thing not only is the shelters and the overflow, the amazing outreach teams that are out.”
Haltom says it takes a village to accommodate the need in Tulsa.
Not only are there warming centers, but outreach teams going out to bring people into the shelters or provide them with clothes or blankets to stay warm.
Haltom says 30-40% of Tulsa’s homeless population needs consistent shelter, which is about 400 unsheltered individuals. Tulsa nonprofit organizations are working hard to keep those in need warm.
If you would like to lend a helping hand, Haltom says they are always taking financial donations as well as clothes and blankets.