Each year, across our nation and our cities, teams of volunteers unite to execute the Point in Time Count, a real-time, live count of those living unsheltered among us. In 2018, it became apparent the needs for neighbors was expansive as we saw a 47% increase in those living unsheltered despite the fact that we had seen an overall reduction in homelessness. Existing providers had reduced the availability of their services and too many barriers, such as program requirements like sobriety, negatively impacted access to shelter. The findings from this event drove conversations that are coming to fruition now to bring the City Care Night Shelter to bear.
We are eliminating barriers to seeking shelter and welcoming all through our doors. City Care spent nearly a decade honing our skills serving those experiencing homelessness in our city by operating a day shelter for our neighbors. Now, we are equipped and ready to build and open Oklahoma City’s first and only low-barrier night shelter. We anticipate the shelter will open during the winter of 2020. We will be transforming the night for 140 guests each night-- women, families and men who need shelter from the elements; a soft bed, and a warm welcome in a safe environment. We are so serious about our invitation to come in, that we have included a special space for beloved pets to enjoy a warm, dry bed and a bowl of fresh food and water. Our team of advocates will work to connect our guests with the services they are looking for to move from crisis to stability. Our message to our guests is simple: Rest easy and know you belong here.
The synergy surrounding the issue of homelessness in our city is driving a comprehensive strategy to address the needs of our overlooked friends and neighbors. Individuals, families, businesses, and organizations are asking these two critical questions:
How am I perpetuating systems of injustice, and what can I do to change it?
Here’s a start. We are seeking sponsors of respite; those willing to believe in the power of transformation and help transform the night for one guest in our night shelter. If you’re game to offer the blessed relief of a warm bed for a friend in crisis, you can join us here.
Blueprints for Transformation
Click here to see the plans for our new night shelter opening in 2021.