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Calling talented Tulsans: $10,000 prize in Tulsa Day Center fundraiser

Posted at 4:06 PM, Sep 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-08 18:32:47-04

TULSA, Okla. — How would you like to win $10,000?

Now’s the time to enter an upcoming talent show, The Big Show Off, benefitting the Tulsa Day Center, which serves the homeless population.

House of Pain’s Danny O’Connor is a judge, but he is judgment free when it comes to homelessness. According to Housing Solution data, Tulsa’s homeless population has grown most every year since 2015.

When O’Connor moved from Los Angeles to Tulsa to open the Outsiders House Museum and experienced a much colder winter than California, he held a coat drive for the Tulsa Day Center.

“I thought it would maybe get 20, 30 jackets,” he said. “We got like 350 and the place was packed like Grinch’s sleigh.”

Now, he’s partnering with TDC for The Big Show Off. It’s like “America’s Got Talent”—they’re hoping to see a variety of different talents. O’Connor doesn’t simply sympathize with those without a home. As a recovered drug addict, he knows it well.

“I was living in a warehouse, teeth falling out of my head, warrant out for my arrest, all of that,” O’Connor explained. “And, my dad was homeless when he was murdered when I was 18, so it runs in my family—mental illness, alcohol and drug addiction.”

2News met up with O’Connor and Monica Martin with TDC at Hudson Villas, The Tulsa Day Center’s affordable housing complext.

It’s a Godsend to those who can get in, but too many are still at the shelter.

“We have a lot of people that are there that have vouchers but can’t find a place to put them, that’s our biggest problem,” said Martin.

While The City of Tulsa created a new taskforce to address the affordable housing crisis, it is fundraisers like this that are critical. Rather than spout misconceptions, Martin says support organizations that help address the problem.

“We hear a lot that Tulsa’s services are so good that people are bussing people here and that’s so not true,” she said.

O’Connor says he still has a “healthy fear” of homelessness—even after years of sobriety. He’s grateful there were organizations to help him get sober and showing up to life.

Deadline for video submissions is October 15th. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.

The event is February 3, 2024.


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