Norman Non-Profit Fights Homelessness With Tiny Homes & More


Wednesday, September 22nd 2021, 7:01 am
By: Jordan Dafnis


NORMAN, Oklahoma -

The end of the federal eviction moratorium has made the number of people facing homelessness grow over the last month.   

Food & Shelter is a non-profit organization based in Norman. Organizers said they are already getting calls from concerned families. 

"We are seeing 50-60 calls a day from people who say you know any day now I could be homeless, and I don't know where me and my family are going to sleep," said April Heiple the Executive Director of Food & Shelter. "The worry that we have here at food and shelter is how are we going to serve those people." 

The food program at Food & Shelter is funded by the United Way of Norman. They serve around 250 meals people every day with their 7-days a week breakfast and lunch program. 

Along with the program, they also have a food pantry for families.  

Currently, the program is working on the McKown Village. A collection of 32 tiny homes that families can stay in for free. The homes are used as a form of long-term housing. Residents generally stay in the homes for 9 to 10 months. 

"While they are here, they need to be working on life skills, job skills, mental health, recovery and looking toward that long-term goal of being able to take care of themselves and their family," said Heiple. "I've seen people come in having not been in the workplace for a very long time and in a short amount of time because of the security of a home they feel inspired and hopeful again." 

Right now, the village is full. People are encouraged to get on the waitlist. Food & Shelter will help them find a temporary spot while they wait. 

Food & Shelter is working on creating a "Share Center" that will offer a variety of resources for the community all in one place. Anything from food resources to legal aid in one building. 

"No person can live to their fullest potential if they are worried about where they are going to sleep at night. I think children going to school and worrying about where they are going to go when they get out of school and having a home is essential to their life-long success," said Heiple. "The goal would be to make getting out of poverty a little bit easier." 

The Non-Profit already owns the land where they will build this new center and they have a meeting with City Council next month to get approval for the zoning process. 

They are looking for volunteers and donations as well. If you are interested in helping out visit their website: 

https://www.foodandshelterinc.org/#about