Oklahoma City has a shelter problem, and City Care is ready to put into action a plan for cold weather nights.
What's your cold weather contingency plan? When the temperature drops below 32 degrees outside, the wind is sharp, and the ground is frozen, do you consider a plan for your warmth, safety, and comfort? Do you cover your plants and drip your faucets? Do you find extra blankets and fuzzy socks for your kiddos?
Do you consider a plan for others, for those without adequate shelter and protection from the elements?
Each night, when the temperature dips below freezing, almost 400 men, women, and children find themselves on our streets, vying for less than half that many beds made available for cold weather.
It's not enough to simply raise the questions of where those on the streets of Oklahoma City will sleep when the temperatures are freezing; we must provide solutions. City Care is positioned to do just that—not out of an abundance of resources, but out of a determination to put a stop to the gaps in services in our city.
To truly transform the issue of homelessness in Oklahoma City, we must first and foremost transform the night by providing adequate shelter to those in need on cold weather nights.
City Care's response is two-fold: short-term relief and long-term transformation.
This winter, City Care will aid in staffing the city's cold weather plan. We are training the staff and securing the supplies needed to meet this need. This is not built into our annual budget; yet, we are committed to making this happen. Too many resources in our city can only be accessed by those in a position to work a program, a barrier to receiving shelter. Simply put, they require too much of guests who cannot see beyond relief from the elements, let alone be in a position to make a commitment to sobriety or provide identification. We are shattering that barrier by ensuring there are low barriers to securing shelter on the coldest of nights.
The long-term transformation comes in the way of a permanent solution. In December, we will close on a building that will be used to shelter 200 guests at night. The shelter will open next year, and we could not be more ecstatic to transform the night for those experiencing homelessness in Oklahoma.
This is where you come in. Like our strategy, our ask is two-fold: Can you meet a tangible need, like providing a meal, a blanket, or a bed? Or, can you commit to own a night and provide shelter for 200 individuals in our city? For less than a latte, you can provide a meal. For less than $90 a month, you can own—and transform—a night.
Where you live is not the measure of your worth. The intrinsic value of a person is found in their humanity.
Therefore, our response must be equal to the value and worth we believe each person holds. We must find long-lasting solutions to create low-barrier options for those needing shelter on the coldest of nights. We can do this—we are doing this—but we cannot do it alone.
Will you join us? We invite you to become a monthly partner or consider a one-time, year-end gift.For too many of us, the extent of our cold weather contingency plan is bumping up our thermostats a couple of notches. It's time we own the night, to transform the night, for those experiencing homelessness in our city.
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