TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Day Center cut the ribbon on a $16 million expansion project on Tuesday.
This expansion adds space to the homeless shelter, which has helped more than 75,000 people since it first opened.
“This is my first time being homeless like this," said Candida Ulibarri Collins. "So, it’s all a new experience for me. It’s humbling.”
Collins and her husband have been living at the Tulsa Day Center for a little over a month after previously living in their car at a gas station.
“We’re not outside in the elements," Collins said. "We’re not really in the heat or the cold. We have a place to lay every night. It’s clean.”
Now, with the help of the Day Center, they’re on the road to finding an apartment.
“As a person comes in the first thing we ask them is, we do a triage with them," Haltom said. "But we want to know what their plans are. We want to know how can we help them get into housing.”
Haltom helped cut the ribbon on the expansion project on Tuesday. It includes a remodeled kitchen and clothing room and a bigger medical clinic.
He said it’s needed after the pandemic caused them to pivot their services.
“You just look at the streets now and you can see folks that are out on the streets, our shelters are full," Haltom said.
Now, this new space will help the growing number of people coming in their doors.
“And there is more increase of homelessness," Haltom said. "Evictions are still an issue in Tulsa. And people losing their jobs because of the pandemic. So, we’re kind of reeling from that, but we’re kind of getting back things.”
So far, the Tulsa Day Center has been able to help more than 500 people find a home.
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