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6 local organizations tapped to expand reach of Tulsa Emergency Rental Assistance Programs

The nonprofit administering city and county Emergency Rental Assistance Programs funded by federal pandemic relief money is bringing six organizations in to help expand their reach.

Restore Hope has distributed almost $760,000 in housing stability grants to Tulsa Dream Center, Tulsa Day Center, Housing Solutions, Catholic Charities, Broken Arrow Neighbors and Owasso Community Resources.

"Our mission is to bring long-lasting transformation to the lives of those we serve, and we are grateful to achieve this mission by providing stable housing through individualized, compassionate guidance," said Tulsa Dream Center Executive Director Tim Newton.

Restore Hope Executive Director Jeff Jaynes said the grants will help reach more people than any one organization could do on its own.

"Restore Hope has certainly been trying. We've distributed over $25 million since April and have increased our staff to help meet those greater needs, but we recognize that there are some people who don't connect with us primarily," Jaynes said.

Many organizations will offer in-person assistance to apply for rental assistance.

Jaynes said the need for rental assistance has not slowed down this far into the pandemic — it’s picked up.

"A month or two ago, we were at about $1 million a week on average each week distributing resources. We are now closer to $1.5 million, $2 million a week in distributing funds," Jaynes said.

The six organizations will have staff members dedicated to helping with rental assistance applications. Catholic Charities set a goal of improving housing security for nearly 600 families.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.