Group on Two-Year Mission to End Tulsa Homelessness Announces First-Year Results
A coalition of Tulsa organizations working to end homelessness celebrated a successful first year Thursday.
The 23 organizations are known collectively as A Way Home for Tulsa, which uses the acronym AWH4T.
AWH4T wanted to house 290 homeless veterans by the end of 2015. Melanie Goldman with Veterans Affairs says they housed 298, including a veteran named Bonnie, who had a civil service job for awhile.
"But somehow, years later, with a mental health diagnosis and substance abuse issues, she ended up on the streets," Goldman said. "When we met Bonnie and talked to her about available services, Bonnie chose recovery."
Bonnie couldn’t be at the announcement because she was working.
Mack Haltom with the Tulsa Day Center said A Way Home for Tulsa is now tackling its goal of housing 95 chronically homeless people by the end of 2016.
"And I am pleased to say A Way Home for Tulsa organization so far has already housed 78 of those individuals," Haltom said.
Haltom said the group also devised a by-name list to help nonprofit case managers easily identify homeless people and track their history and needs.
In 2015, AWH4T also found 250 new available housing units. Jeff Jaynes with participating organization Restore Hope said they have momentum now and have big goals in mind.
"Homelessness in Tulsa, when it does occur, will be rare," Jaynes said. "It will be brief, and it will be non-recurring."
AWH4T is participating in Zero: 2016, a two-year national initiative to end veteran and chronic homelessness by the end of this year.