Hardesty Family Foundation Gives $900,000 Grant To Mental Health Association Oklahoma

Monday, April 12th 2021, 9:49 pm
By: Jordan Tidwell

TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Hardesty Family Foundation has given a $900,000 grant to the Mental Health Association Oklahoma. 

"We really live at the intersection of homelessness and mental illness," said Terri White, CEO of Mental Health Association Oklahoma.

White said this grant will help people who are struggling with homelessness and mental health who find themselves in trouble with the law. 

"It helps individuals who are facing low level or municipal offenses, related to homelessness and untreated mental illness, get connected to services," White said. 

White said the grant also helps the organization's rapid response team. That team searches the streets of Tulsa to talk to people who are homeless and offer them different kinds of help. 

"This program diverts individuals from ending up in the back of a police car, the inside of a jail cell or the inside of a prison cell and moves them away from the justice system," White said.

White said it's been a critical year for so many because of the pandemic, and their services are needed more than ever before. She said this grant is helping them meet the needs of those in Tulsa. 

"We actually see hope begin to shine in their eyes again which is incredibly rewarding," she said. 

They'll also use part of the money to train security officers and law enforcement how to best deal with people they encounter who are mentally ill.