OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As temperatures begin to plummet to life-threatening numbers, many nonprofits and volunteers are working hard to help bring the Oklahoma City metro’s houseless population in from the cold.
The Homeless Alliance says there are 800 – 900 people in shelters now, but still about 400 without a place to stay.
“There is a capacity issue. I suspect that by Friday night and all of night overflow shelter providers will be over capacity,” said Dan Straughan, Executive Director of the Homeless Alliance.
They have made plans with other city shelters in anticipation of extreme weather events like the upcoming winter blast.
City Care, The Salvation Army and City Rescue Mission will provide shelter as well.
“We’re giving rides to shelter, providing bus passes if they don’t need a ride from us,” said Shelah Farley, Outreach Team Program Manager at the Oklahoma Mental Health Association. “And then also if they refuse to go to a shelter, just providing them with the gear that they’ll need to survive this weather.”
Farley says teams cover all 620 sq. miles of Oklahoma City, handing out resources to the homeless community.
“The weather that’s come in is really dangerous,” said Farley. “And for folks who live outside, it can be deadly.”
The Homeless Alliance and other shelters are doing what they can to accommodate the surge in demand.
“We will open our day shelter as a 24 hour day and night shelter. And we can take up to 80,” said Straughan.
But officials say more help may be needed.
If you remember that storm in 2021, we actually had quite a few people just across the city that opened up pop up shelters and like some of them were just a gym,” said Farley. “A lot of our community really, they really do step up to kind of help with that.”