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City officials announce new campaign to help end homelessness in Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY – City officials have launched a new campaign to help end homeless in Oklahoma City.

Making a contribution in the fight against homelessness in Oklahoma City is now at your fingertips with a new text-to-give campaign.

Text HelpOKCHomeless to 41444 and follow the instructions to make a donation benefiting local service organizations that help people who are homeless.

You can also make donations online.

The donations will be managed by the United Way of Central Oklahoma.

“Everyone in Oklahoma City deserves a chance to succeed, and it should be easier to help them get there,” said Ward 6 Councilwoman Meg Salyer. “That’s why we’ve been working with the United Way on this program to give people another tool to help our neighbors who are struggling.”

About homelessness in OKC

According to estimates based on the City’s most recent annual Point in Time Survey, there are about 6,000 people in Oklahoma City who are homeless each year.

Residents who are homeless were asked about various aspects of their backgrounds:

  • 33 percent report severe mental illness
  • 40 percent report substance use disorders
  • 5 percent report being victims of domestic violence
  • 11 percent report being veterans
  • 16 percent are age 17 or younger

People who are homeless have a life expectancy of about 45, and are disproportionately likely to be affected by violence and health problems.

At least 23 people who were homeless died in Oklahoma City in 2016.

About the text-to-give program

Texting HelpOKCHomeless to 41444 is a new way for residents to quickly and easily make their own financial contribution to the local service organizations that are helping people in our community struggling with homelessness.

The United Way partners with many of those service organizations. The funds from the text-to-give program will be distributed by the United Way to those organizations to help support their key missions.

“Every person struggling with homelessness has a unique history, but many of the same problems blocked their way forward – losing a job, facing addiction, abuse,” said United Way of Central Oklahoma President and CEO Debby Hampton. “Our community of service providers has experience to help them make a plan and stay on course to succeed.”

Organizations that will receive funds donated through the campaign include:

  • Catalyst Behavioral Services
  • Catholic Charities
  • Center for Employment Opportunities
  • CityCare
  • City Rescue Mission
  • Exodus House (Criminal Justice & Mercy Ministries)
  • Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma
  • HeartLine
  • Homeless Alliance
  • HOPE Community Services
  • HopeHouse OKC
  • Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma
  • Mental Health Association Oklahoma
  • Neighborhood Services Organization
  • NorthCare
  • OKC Metro Alliance, Inc.
  • Positive Tomorrows
  • RAIN Oklahoma
  • Red Rock Behavioral Health Services
  • ReMerge
  • The Salvation Army, Central Oklahoma Area Command
  • Skyline Urban Ministry
  • Sunbeam Family Services
  • Upward Transitions
  • Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City
  • Urban Mission
  • The Winds House (AIDS Support Program, Inc.)
  • Youth Services for Oklahoma County
  • YWCA Oklahoma City