TULSA, Okla. — Thanks to non-profits like John 3:16, The Tulsa Day Center, and many others Tulsans have a warm place to sleep and resources to get back on their feet. However, funding for some of those non-profits now hangs in the balance.
Tulsa Area United Way raises money every year to fund non-profits like the Tulsa Day Center, but for the first time in 30 years, the Tulsa Area United Way says it can't meet its fundraising goal, which means people like Stephanie McGuire may not get the help they need.
“There are things in life that happen that are outside of our control and don’t be afraid to reach out for help when you need it," Stephanie McGuire who sought help from the Tulsa Day Center said.
McGuire came to the Tulsa Day Center six months ago.
“I was wrongfully evicted from my apartment in Cushing in December of last year. So, that’s what sent me here. It’s been a long process, but it’s been worth it," McGuire said.
McGuire said the Tulsa Day Center didn't just provide a place to sleep, but has also helped meet some of her most basic needs.
“They’ve helped me with clothing, with personal hygiene, haircuts, and getting in connection to people that can help me if they don’t have the resources. They’re really good about having all the resources here to get on our feet and get to where we need to go," McGuire said.
Executive Director, Mack Haltom, said the day center has been seeing more people like McGuire seeking resources and shelter, even more than they're able to house. To do the most they can to help, he said they rely on partners like the Tulsa Area United Way.
“United Way’s funding is very important because, it’s not just about the Tulsa day Center…there are a lot of agencies out there and we collaborate with a number of those agencies," Mack Haltom, executive director of the Tulsa Day Center said.
However, this year the Tulsa Area United Way is struggling to meet its nearly $26 Million fundraising goal.
“It sounds like a crazy number, but it’s because it’s a real number based on increased needs of our partner agencies in really tough times," Alison Anthony, President and CEO, with Tulsa Area United Way said.
Tulsa Area United Way CEO Alison Anthony said 88 cents of every one of those dollars go into Tulsa through 59 different agencies like The Day Center.
“Absolutely, it’s a concern, yeah… seeing a greater need and less dollars that means it will be harder to meet those needs," Haltom said.
The Tulsa Area United Way has extended its campaign deadline to Friday hoping by then they will have reached their fundraising goal to continue serving Tulsans like McGuire.
“I’m just overwhelmed by the love that I’ve been shown by these people and the way that they encourage you and believe in you when a lot of times you have a hard time believing in yourself," McGuire said.
Alison said this is the first time in 30 years they have not met their campaign's fundraising goal. She said it's likely the economic climate has impacted the donors' ability to give. If you're able to donate, you can do so here.
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