SHAWNEE, Okla. (KFOR) – There’s a new mission to provide homes and hope to families struggling in Shawnee.
The goal is to provide them with the transitional housing and resources they need to improve their path forward.
“I am the face of these families,” said Tiffany Walker, Executive Director of Bridges Out of Poverty. “This was me eight years ago with two kids and being lost and broken and not having those resources.”
Walker once came to Bridges Out of Poverty in Shawnee seeking help of her own.
Now, as executive director, she’s paying it forward.
“To be able to be a part of an organization that is providing that to families and to provide hope again is full circle for me and it just makes me emotional,” Walker said.
Bridges Out of Poverty helps educate people and give them opportunities to improve their lives.
It shines a light on an issue in Shawnee that most only think exists in larger cities.
“Especially since COVID, we’ve had a growing number of unhoused and I do use unhoused rather than just homeless, because we’re not just talking about people that are on the streets, but people that happen to have to couch surf from family to family or friend to friend or maybe living in their car,” said Tate Monroe, Board Member of Bridges Out of Poverty.
So, Bridges Out of Poverty is taking their mission a step forward, hoping to provide transitional housing.
Their vision is similar to that of Pivot’s tiny homes in Oklahoma City, only providing more square footage to accommodate families.
“We want to show that in 24 months, when you provide transitional housing, education and mentoring, that they are able to decrease their debt, increase income and transition into homeownership,” Walker said.
“We think this is going to make a huge difference in our community,” said Dr. Kathy Laster, President and CEO of the Avedis Foundation.
Walker says the feeling of hope is indescribable.
“We were able to break the cycle of generational poverty and my children will never have to go through the things that I did as a single mother,” Walker said.
Initial funding is from Family Promise of Shawnee.
The will donations from community members, different grant organizations and foundations.
The location hasn’t been announced yet but they hope to break ground by next May.