Emergency Shelter Opens In Former Tulsa County Juvenile Justice Facility

Apr 20, 2020

The former site of Tulsa County's Juvenile Justice Center has been repurposed and reopened as a shelter for those experiencing homelessness amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

County Commissioner Karen Keith said 55 men are the first clients to stay in the facility beginning Monday. Tulsa Transit buses are being used to bring the men to the shelter, operated by homeless nonprofits including the Salvation Army and the Tulsa Day Center and funded through a public-private partnership including the City of Tulsa.

Unhoused individuals are at high risk for infection and transmission of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, according to epidemiologists and homelessness advocates.

"Fortunately," said Keith, "we are not reporting any COVID cases in this population so far."

Keith said that Tulsa County has also nearly finalized a contract to lease 72 hotel rooms to shelter more unhoused individuals.