Tulsa Mayor Bynum Working With Agencies To Help House Homeless People

The mayor introduced several new initiatives a few weeks ago that are intended to get people off the streets and into permanent housing.

Monday, November 27th 2023, 10:28 pm



One of the major initiatives for Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum's last year in office was to combat the growing problem of homelessness in the city.

The mayor introduced several new initiatives a few weeks ago that are intended to get people off the streets and into permanent housing.

You don't have to spend much time in downtown Tulsa to notice how many homeless people are hanging around.

So much so that the city is focusing on a plan that would give these people a place to go, and they called on Mack Haltom with the Day Center to help.

"When the city came to us, we made a proposal to them that we could form an outreach team to focus first of all in the downtown area," Mack Haltom, Chief Executive Officer of the Tulsa Day Center, said.

Several agencies would be involved: Tulsa Police, the Day Center for the Homeless, the Tulsa Housing Authority, Family & Children’s Services, and mental health clinicians.

A police officer or a social worker could take a homeless person into custody through an emergency order of detention if they feel that person is a danger to themselves or others.

"We believe this new program is one of the most important things we can do to help homeless Tulsans experiencing psychotic episodes - getting them off the streets and into the care of trained professionals," Mayor GT Bynum said.

An emergency order could also apply to people in poor health. 

"They may be hanging out in a storefront, maybe not being able to take care of themselves self-care wise, but you see them deteriorate over a certain amount of time," Bynum said. "And then, at that time, an order detention can be placed."

From there, that person would be put in temporary housing.

The housing authority would then take over to find them permanent housing. 

They will stay in touch with a mental health case worker during the process.

"It brings them stability," said Haltom. "It brings them a sense of security, having their own place and also it gives them it gives them an opportunity to heal if they're ill and to be able to access other services where people can help them."

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum says they plan to walk out the initiative in the next several months.

Haltom says it could happen sooner if the city approves funding as soon as possible.

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