Plan to tackle homelessness making progress

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City is working on a plan to tackle homelessness.

They had a public comment period on it, and now it goes to the next step for approval.

Public comment drew dozens of comments. Some were just glad to see the plan happening.

“Others commented on things like mental health and substance abuse, how they liked how it was distributed across the programs, but they also said some things about wanting to see a stronger focus on that,” Jerod Shadid, program planner for homeless services in OKC, said.

The task force behind the plan will get it to City Council for approval in the coming weeks.

The city has also hired a strategic planning coordinator to put the plan into place.

The plan includes sections on employment, transportation, outreach, and more. 

“We need to basically increase our infrastructure out there and our capacity. We need more people who can provide more intensive services and not just have to refer on to somebody else,” Shadid said.

With the eviction moratorium ending July 31, it’s not clear how many people may end up needing more help.

“We’re expecting a spike in filings. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen with the actual numbers of evictions,” Shadid said.

“The question everyone’s asking themselves is how bad is it going to be on August 1. And we don’t really know, but we’re prepared as best we can,” Dan Straughan, executive director of the Homeless Alliance, said.

If you’re struggling to pay rent, reach out to Community Cares Partners. You can also call 211.

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