Red Cross, Tulsa Day Center for Homeless Prepare to Help in Severe Winter Weather
By Caitlin Alexander
Both the Red Cross and Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless are preparing to help those in need in case of severe winter weather."We are basically in a pre-positioning stage. We are moving logistical supplies and human resources all across eastern Oklahoma to be able to respond to mass care needs, such as sheltering and feeding, for an ice storm event," said Regional Disaster Program Officer Brian Jenson with Red Cross.Red Cross volunteers and staff in the region received a call this week, placing them on standby. The disaster team is putting items like cots and meals in place ahead of any winter weather. Red Cross expects to focus its attention on Oklahoma's southeast region.Jensen said the Red Cross will probably only open shelters if long term power outages occur.Jensen said those that want to help with winter weather relief may feel free to make a financial donation to fund these Red Cross services. He said it is not the best time to donate items like food, because they will be difficult to transport on slick roads.The Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless has been dealing with a broken boiler this week. It has been using a temporary heating system to keep the space warm for clients. Crews worked on the boiler Wednesday to correct the problem before any severe winter weather begins."In past snow storms and ice storms, we've had up to 600 people in here during the day at one time," said Associate Director Mack Haltom. Haltom said a staff member spent Wednesday buying groceries to feed clients the next two nights. He said, normally, churches or volunteer groups provide evening meals. However, the Day Center wants to be prepared in case travel is hazardous.Haltom said the Day Center has 140 mats for sleeping. He said the Center generally welcomes single women, men over age 55, and people with mental disabilities to stay overnight. However, the Day Center will welcome anyone in need of shelter to stay overnight during severe winter weather.Haltom said the Day Center would appreciate financial donations to help run the facility. He said their clients also need donated winter weather clothing. You may contact the Day Center at (918) 583-5588.
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