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Local shelters brace for frigid temperatures in Green Country

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Posted at 8:29 PM, Feb 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-07 21:38:26-05

TULSA, Okla — Freezing temperatures over the next week has local shelters worried for the safety of homeless Tulsans.

For people experiencing homelessness, extreme cold temperatures can be dangerous and sometimes fatal.

Reverend Steve Whitaker with John 3:16 Mission said the pandemic forced all shelters in town to cut their occupancy limit in half, but the drop in temperatures are forcing them to expand shelter capacity again.

“COVID-19 is a serious issue and it’s a serious risk, but I would say that cold is a much more immediate risk, we have along with others chosen to waive any occupancy,” Whitaker said.

With safety and warmth as the number one priority, Whitaker tells 2 Works for You that shelters are using every resource they have to meet every need.

"We will do our very best to make sure everybody has all the space that they need, which means that we’ll sleep every other bed in the dormitory, we’ll fill our lobby, the warming station with people that can sleep in there, that’s airport type seats,” he said.

Knowing the risks that the cold weather presents, the shelter will serve more meals and sleep more people tonight than they have been to ensure no lives are lost to the frigid temperatures, according to Whitaker.

"If that’s not enough space we’ll fill our kitchen, if that’s not enough space we’ll fill our chapel.”, Whitaker said.

John 3:16 is asking if the public would like to help out they are in need of new underwear, socks, gloves, and stocking caps.

They ask that all times donated are in new condition and can be dropped off at 506 N. Cheyenne Street, Tulsa, Okla.

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