Deanne Stein, News 9

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- Mission Norman has helped people down on their luck since 1998. Now, the mission wants to extend its services to transitional homes for the homeless.

Gene Barnes with Mission Norman says the need is great.

"We had a family that came to us recently. They were living in a car at Wal-Mart," Barnes said. "I said where do you take a shower and they said ‘we go to the restroom and sponge off.' It's just sad."

In fact, Barnes said there are anywhere between 70 to 100 families with children who are homeless in the Norman area. That's why he is building 20 homes for the homeless on six acres of property the mission owns located on Lindsey Street in Norman. Construction is already underway to build the 20 homes through five four-plex housing units. The plan also calls for a new mission center.

"God has always provided, ever since we started, we've been on faith," Barnes said.

And it's faith he is relying on now, as he makes his plea to the public for help. Even though construction has begun, he said the mission still needs 3.2 million dollars to complete the project.

"It's going to happen, these 20 homes will be there," said Barnes. "A year from now, wouldn't it be great to look at what happened in one year."

Barnes says the mission also will provide other services to these families, such as training, transportation and employment assistance.

Barnes said all donations given will be used in the construction of these homes. If you would like to help, you can send a check payable to "Mission Norman" to 2525 East Lindsey, Norman, OK 73071.