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Tulsa nonprofit working to get children, families off the streets

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Posted at 9:05 PM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 11:04:43-04

TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa nonprofit is helping find housing for families in need, like single father Courtney Mitchell.

“I didn’t know where I was going to go," Mitchell said. "I didn’t know what I was going to do.”

He and his five-year-old son lived with his father, but had to move out and had nowhere to go.

“Mainly I had to figure out my boys' situation," Mitchell said. "I had to let go of my pride of me and focus on getting them situated and getting them straight so they won’t have to worry about the struggle and going through what I had to go through.”

That’s when Family Promise of Tulsa County stepped in to help. The nonprofit houses families experiencing homelessness. It provides shelter, transportation and food, among many other services.

“I can honestly say it was one of the best days of my life," Mitchell said. "Like literally, I got the call and it was like ‘Hey we’ve got a place for you. We’ve got a place for you and your son. It’s fully furnished. He’s got his own room. He’s got a bed. He’s got a table. He’s got this, he’s got that.'”

Family Promise of Tulsa County is one of the many nonprofits to recently receive a COVID-19 relief grant from the city of Tulsa. It was awarded more than $318,000, which it plans to put toward buying a building of its own to help even more families in the community. It can currently house up to nine families at a time in apartments.

“I really want to be able to help everybody," said Tina Massey, executive director of Family Promise of Tulsa County. "And right now I don’t have the capacity to do it.”

Massey said, last year, they were able to help 77 families and got 151 children off the street. She said they’re one of the few programs in the city that helps single fathers like Mitchell.

“It’s traumatic for a child to lose their home," Massey said. "And whenever they go to a traditional shelter, if there’s no family room available, it’s traumatic for that child because not only have they lost their home, they’ve probably lost their car, they’ve lost their friends and now they’re losing their daddy too.”

After spending about 90 days in the Family Promise housing, Mitchell is getting ready to move into his own apartment on Monday. He wants other single fathers to know there is help out there thanks to people like Massey and Family Promise of Tulsa County.

“Now I’m at a standpoint to where I know I got somebody in my corner," Mitchell said. "And it’s not just my corner, you know what I’m saying? The boys corner. And literally they’re happy and that’s what makes me happy.”

You can learn more about Family Promise of Tulsa County here.

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