Have you or someone you know found themselves homeless in Oklahoma? It's an increasingly common problem, even in a state with a relatively low cost of living. The good news is there are resources and programs in Oklahoma to help. Whether you need emergency shelter, food assistance, healthcare, job training, or help finding housing again, there are organizations working to help homeless Oklahomans get back on their feet.
In this blog post -- we're going to explore some of the major resources for homeless individuals and families living in Oklahoma. Homelessness is a difficult struggle, but by connecting with the right resources, many people are able to find their way to more solutions.
Shelters and Transitional Housing Options in Oklahoma
First -- shelters and transitional housing could provide temporary relief for those in immediate need. In Oklahoma, there's many options here to help:
Homeless Alliance, based in Oklahoma City, aims to prevent and end homelessness through advocacy, education, and coordination of services. They operate an outreach program that provides basic necessities like food, water, hygiene products, and clothing directly to those living on the streets. The Homeless Alliance also works to increase access to mainstream resources and permanent housing opportunities for the homeless.
Oklahoma's City Rescue Mission
Oklahoma's City Rescue Mission has served the poor and homeless of Oklahoma City since 1960. They offer emergency shelter, meals, and rehabilitation programs for men, women, and children. Their outreach teams also distribute food boxes, hygiene kits, and other supplies to homeless individuals with street outreach and mobile food pantries.
Red Earth Homeless Coalition
The Red Earth Homeless Coalition serves the homeless population across central Oklahoma with a focus on Tribal members and Veterans. They provide direct aid such as sleeping bags, tents, food, clothing and transportation assistance. The Coalition also helps individuals access resources for healthcare, legal services, job opportunities, and government assistance programs like SNAP food stamps.
Salvation Army offers shelters with meals, medical care, and access to other services in locations across Oklahoma. Their rehab programs help people recover from substance abuse and get work training.
Lastly -- Several charities manage shelters and transitional housing for homeless families in Oklahoma. There are many organizations working to help the homeless in Oklahoma. Reach out for emergency assistance or long-term aid. Shelters provide refuge and resources to improve your situation, whether due to poverty, domestic violence, addiction, or other circumstances. Don't lose hope - help is out there.
Section 8 Housing Vouchers Program
Still can't find housing? The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (developed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development) also provides housing assistance to low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled so they can afford decent housing. If you're eligible for the program, the housing authority provides a voucher that covers part of your rent.
The waiting lists for Section 8 vouchers can be quite long, often taking years to obtain a voucher. Some housing authorities open their waiting lists for only a short period of time before closing them again. It is important to apply as soon as possible if the waiting list in your area is open. Here're some things you can do to improve your chances of obtaining a voucher sooner:
- Meeting certain preferences like having dependents under the age of 18 or over the age of 62 or currently homeless.
- Checking with local non-profits for voucher programs they may administer in addition to the housing authority.
- Exploring special voucher programs for targeted groups like veterans, the disabled or homeless.
The Section 8 program provides crucial assistance to those in need of affordable housing. While the process can be long, a voucher can be life-changing. With some persistence, you have a good chance of securing this valuable benefit.
Food Assistance Programs for the Homeless in Oklahoma
Once you've found somewhat-stable housing, it's time to think about food. If you're currently homeless in Oklahoma, search for programs that provide you meals and food assistance. Such as:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The SNAP program provides monthly benefits on an EBT card that can be used to purchase most foods at grocery stores and farmers markets. To qualify, you must meet income requirements and other eligibility criteria. Apply for SNAP benefits at your local Department of Human Services (DHS) office.
Food Banks and Pantries
Food banks and pantries also distribute free groceries and meals to those in need. Some of the largest in Oklahoma include the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma & Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. Many food banks have mobile pantries that distribute food in underserved areas.
Soup Kitchens and Shelters
Homeless shelters and soup kitchens offer free, nutritious meals. Some well-known ones are the City Rescue Mission in Oklahoma City or Broken Arrow Neighbors. These places welcome anyone in need of a hot meal and often provide additional services.
Medical and Mental Health Resources for the Homeless
Oklahoma also has a variety of resources for individuals experiencing homelessness to access medical and mental healthcare. Many clinics and shelters offer free or low-cost services.
Free clinics provide primary care and health services for uninsured and underinsured Oklahomans, including homeless individuals. Some well-known free clinics are the Good Shepherd Free Clinic in Oklahoma City or the Tulsa Dream Center Clinic. These clinics offer services such as checkups, treatment of a physical or mental illness, dental care, prescription assistance and mental health counseling.
Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) like NorthCare or Little Dixie provide affordable health services on a sliding-fee scale based on your income. Homeless individuals may qualify for free or very low-cost services including primary care, dental, behavioral health and substance abuse treatment. Community health centers have multiple locations across Oklahoma.
Many homeless shelters offer free basic health care and mental health services for their residents and others in need. For example, the Mental Health Association Oklahoma helps homeless individuals access behavioral health resources. Shelters can also help people sign up for Medicaid or find a free clinic for follow-up care.
Oklahoma Medicaid provides health insurance for low-income individuals including homeless Oklahomans. Homeless individuals need to meet income requirements and provide proof of identification and citizenship/immigration status. Medicaid covers services like doctor visits, hospital stays, mental health treatment, substance use disorder services, and long term care. Applications can be submitted by mail, in person, by phone, or online.
With many options for medical and mental healthcare, homeless Oklahomans can get the treatment and support that they need. Reaching out to local shelters and clinics is the first step towards improving health and overall wellness.
Homeless? EASY Wireless is Here to Help!
If you're homeless in Oklahoma, we hope you're able to use this blog post to better your situation. But what if we told you EASY Wireless could help you out even more?
That's right, because of certain government connectivity programs, we're offering access to FREE phones with unlimited data to help you connect to friends & family or just save money on your current plan. Here's what we're offering:
EASY Wireless Unlimited Plan
- FREE Unlimited Data
- FREE Unlimited Talk
- FREE Unlimited Text
- FREE SIM Card Kit and Activation
- Choose to Keep Your Number or Get a New One
To start with EASY Wireless, apply online by clicking the below:
Start Saving Today!
Or you can come to one of the EASY Wireless's retail stores, where our customer service agent will help you apply for your benefits.