Tulsa organizations needing warm clothing for homeless community

TULSA, Okla. — As the temperatures drop, homeless shelters in Tulsa have seen an increase in the number of people they are serving and are calling on the community to lend a helping hand.

People who work and volunteer with the homeless community said they’ve been handing out lots of warm weather clothing but are starting to run out and are asking the community to help by donating.

At the Tulsa Day Center downtown, Executive Director Mack Haltom said they have had an uptick in the number of people in need of warm clothing.

“Yesterday, this was the first time I really saw a line kind of go out, you know, halfway across our room here … trying to get people serviced as quick as we can and make sure their needs are met,” Haltom said.

Haltom said this week they’ve seen around 250 people during the day and about 80 people at night and many of them have needed clothes.

This need has left them with empty shelves in the day center’s closet.

“We’ve given away a lot of coats, a lot of warm clothes, the scarves, the hats, the gloves, the hand warmers, foot warmers, warm shoes, as well just anything that can keep people warm,” Haltom said.

Paul Schmidt, the executive director of the Merchant Tulsa in the Pearl District, has empty hangers in their store room where they need more coats.

Schmidt said they have seen around 200 people at the doors of the Merchant every day they’ve been open this week and they need more clothes donated so those experiencing homelessness can stay warm during this winter weather.

“Since Christmas, we’ve handed out probably over 500 blankets, probably about 150-200 sleeping bags, anything and everything that’s warm gear for people,” Schmidt said.

Both Haltom and Schmidt said it is vitally important they receive more donations.

“Lack of having blankets, lack of having sleeping bags, lack of having stuff to stay warm, to stay alive with,” Schmidt said as he named off the needs of the homeless community.

“Absolutely worries me, it does, because this is life and death stuff,” Haltom added.

If you would like to donate, contact the Tulsa Day Center at 918-583-5588 and or the Merchant Tulsa at 918-260-6605.