Making homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring must be a community wide effort and we all have a role to play. We help when we support an affordable housing project in our neighborhood. We help when we empty our closet and donate gently used or new clothing. We help when we look someone asking for help in the eye and acknowledge them, whether we choose to give or not.
As we approach dangerous winter weather, review our list of the many ways you can choose to help:
Know your local shelters, resources.
Every person experiencing homelessness is different and has their own circumstances to address as they reenter housing. Go here to learn more about AWH4T Partner Agencies and their myriad services to help someone find what they need. If ever unsure, always start with 211.
New and gently used clothes are always in need by Tulsa service providers. If not sure about a donation’s quality, ask yourself if the item will bring dignity to the person receiving it. Most organizations will not accept a donation that is damaged, including rips, tears, stains or missing a button.
City Lights Foundation of Oklahoma has a good, general list of needed donations here.
One way to extend your reach is to share on social media that you’re collecting for a donation. Friends will pitch in.
Volunteer your time.
Most shelters or service organization welcome volunteer support and often have volunteer coordinators. In January, Housing Solutions will seek volunteers for its annual PiT Count, where teams comb the area to count as many people experiencing homelessness as possible, which informs strategies for the next year.
You can setup your own GoFundMe or other crowd-funding platform to leverage your social network and connect the campaign to post nonprofits, including Housing Solutions. Double or triple your gift by asking friends and family to join you.
Research candidates and vote.
State and local policy play an important role in the mission to make homeless rare, bring and non-recurring. Policy affects funding for services, housing availability, access to health care and much more.
Research candidates and advocate for strong policy at the polls. Go here to see sample ballots and learn about upcoming elections: https://okvoterportal.okelections.us