Archive for shelter

A Place to Find Hope: Danell’s Story

Danell was nervous the first time he visited The Salvation Army of Cleveland County. He had recently experienced a stroke which left him out of a job. He had lost his place in the world and needed help, “This was the first time I have asked or needed help so I felt a little nervous at first. I had worked all my life and now found myself needing help”. The Salvation Army of Cleveland County provided Danell emergency shelter, “It was a life changer. Without the shelter I would be out on the streets. It made all the difference in the world to me”.

He worked with The Salvation Army of Cleveland County to get him back on his feet again. They assisted Danell by locating permanent housing. “I felt great when I knew that I would have a place to call home. I was nervous about what the future would hold for me but am so thankful for those who helped me every step of the way”.

Danell cannot stop praising the team at The Salvation Army of Cleveland County for going the distance for him, “They provided an opportunity for me to stay in the shelter…they gave me a chance. The Salvation Army is a great organization and I have seen firsthand how much they truly want to help people.”

He indeed has seen firsthand the need in the community, being on the receiving side for a short timeframe, and shared how important it is for individuals to support The Salvation Army. “The money really goes to people who need it on a daily basis. I rang the bell at Christmas time and enjoyed that experience very much. People are so generous. I would encourage people to give what you can.”

Thank you for investing in the lives of individuals like Danell! To make a gift, please text HopeOKC to 41444 or go online https://app.mobilecause.com/form/drynoA

Together we are providing hope for our community and #DoingTheMostGood!

Story of Hope: Terrance & Darla

Terrance, Darla & Leona

Terrance and Darla with Leona Chapman (right), director of social services for The Salvation Army in Norman.

Terrance and Darla met over 30 years ago at Terrance’s sister’s wedding. Originally from Arizona and North Carolina respectively, the two were married and eventually settled down in Norman.

In December 2014, a disagreement with their apartment’s management caused them, along with their son who had to drop out of college, to begin living in a motel. Terrance supported the family by driving for a trucking company but because of his age, he decided to leave and their funds soon ran out.

Terrance, Darla and their son visited The Salvation Army shelter in Oklahoma City and learned there were beds available in Norman. Once they were settled, they met with the director, Leona Chapman, to make a plan for getting back to self-sufficiency.

They were connected with a veteran’s services case worker who began helping them get a home. While they worked to get back on their feet, Terrance, Darla and their son did everything in their power to give back to The Salvation Army.

“Anything that could help out, we didn’t mind doing,” Terrance shared. “The Salvation Army gave us a roof over our head and food to eat, at least until we got back on our feet, we wanted to help and give back.”

That positive attitude allowed them to find a new place to live within three months. A new place that is better than before with hardwood floors, a large kitchen and dining room, and a fireplace.

Today, Darla has passed her certification to be a registered medical assistant and works for a doctor’s office, Terrance has a new job and their son is headed to Texas A&M in the fall after graduating with his Associate’s Degree in May.

Terrance and Darla know that because they asked for help, they are in a better place but it took them putting in hard work as well.

For others facing similar hardships, they offer this advice, “Swallow your pride. There are organizations willing to help you and all you have to do is ask. If you do your part, whatever they ask, they will bend over backwards to help you. The Salvation Army has done that for us.”

Just Have Faith & Determination – Marlon’s Story of Hope

Marlon 2Marlon is no stranger to starting over in a new place. Originally from Louisiana, Marlon left for Las Vegas after Hurricane Katrina and eventually settled in Salina, KS. After a relationship turned into a bad situation, he decided it was time to move on – leaving his job, friends and coworkers to start again.

He first went to Wichita, KS but after struggling to find a job, Marlon headed for Oklahoma City after learning that it was in the top five for cities with the lowest unemployment rate.

With his savings quickly depleting, Marlon stay on the floor at an Oklahoma City shelter but he knew he needed a more stable environment in order to get back on his feet. That is when he learned of The Salvation Army.

Just five days after arriving in Oklahoma, Marlon had a bed to call his own and an army of people rooting for him. Within two weeks he had a job. Now Marlon has two jobs and feels blessed that both are such great working environments.

“None of this would have been possible without God – God first,” Marlon proudly expresses. “I have a strong belief in Him and my faith in God has gotten even stronger since I’ve been here at The Salvation Army.”

Marlon’s faith in God and his hard work have him on the fast track to be back on his feet. Working over 60 hours a week, he is already making weekly payments on new bedroom and living room furniture. He has already picked out an apartment but is waiting to save more money before signing a lease.

“I’ve got so many plans. I’ve got goals that are reachable – long-term goals that are far off but they’re also doable,” Marlon explains. “But one step at a time, slow and easy.”

In our shelter, Marlon has become a role model for others wanting to change their life. He was awarded the Shining Star award which recognizes individuals who have made great strides to improve their lives.

Marlon mentors the other residents realistically telling them that change has to happen.

“I’m no saint or nothing like that but when I do point them in the right direction, it’s up to them to do these things. I try to tell them how to present themselves. Humble yourself, you know. Those old street ways, those old attitudes you’ve got to lose that now.”

It is clear that Marlon is not going to let a bad situation that was forced on him keep him down. His constant positivity, faith and determination are an inspiration to everyone. And he knows that he is not the only one who is capable of changing his circumstances.

“I’m not the only one who can do this. Everyone else can do it too but they have to want it.”

Because of your support of The Salvation Army, Marlon’s story was made possible. If you would like to continue making a difference in the life of someone just like Marlon, click the Donate Now button above and financially support our shelter programs.

Scared & Homeless: Kelly’s Story of Hope

Kelly SouthernKelly had never experienced homelessness until last winter. Kelly and her husband originally came to Oklahoma to stay with family but when they arrived, the family was gone and the couple had no one else to turn to for help. She was scared.

On extreme winter nights, they would get a cot in our shelter at The Center of Hope. Kelly would ask the staff everyday if any beds were available and in February, the answer was finally yes.

“Our experience since we’ve been here is lovely. It’s beautiful. Everybody’s so sweet – everybody. I don’t have a problem with one single person.”

Kelly and her husband have both been able to find jobs and have been approved for an apartment. The things they placed in storage before becoming homeless will furnish their new place.

“If we get those keys, we’ll just sleep on the floor. I’m ready to go. I’ve been here since February and I didn’t think you could stay that long but it was on God’s time. We couldn’t rush Him.”

Kelly repeatedly expressed her appreciation of the staff and residents for their support and friendliness. As Kelly prepared to leave for work with her gospel music at the ready to help her stay awake, she reinforced her gratitude for the shelter, “I had the best experience.”

Because of your donations, Kelly and her husband were able to find their way back from homelessness. If you’d like to make a difference in the life of someone just like Kelly, you can:

  • Volunteer as a mentor and teach budgeting and other life skills.
  • Provide travel size containers of shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, soap and toothpaste. Other items needed also include toothbrushes, combs and new socks. Items can be dropped off at 1001 N. Pennsylvania, Oklahoma City, OK 73107.
  • Click the Donate Now button above and financially support our shelter programs.

“This is what they do.”

Tom Philips - shelter bed (small cropped)

Each month, our board members are given the opportunity to share why they are involved at The Salvation Army. Tom Phillips recently seized the moment and told a story two business clients shared with him.

Several weeks ago I was visiting with a couple in my office when they noticed a Salvation Army plaque hanging on my wall. They remarked they recently had a very nice experience with The Salvation Army here in Oklahoma City and began to tell me their story.

 

Their daughter and future son-in-law were strolling downtown when they saw a young man pulling a suitcase down the street. She noticed that he was crying and appealed to her fiancé to stop and ask if they could help. Her fiancé was not too excited at the idea but agreed if the young man did not cross to the opposite side of the street, they’d approach him. In that same moment the young man sat down on a bench, so they walked to him and found him still weeping. They inquired if he was alright and he shared his story.

 

A year prior, the young man had come to Oklahoma City for an aunt’s funeral and decided to stay. He got a job at a factory but it didn’t go well and he was picked on by other workers. It came to a point when he got into an altercation with one of his tormentors and was fired. Since then, he had been unable to find another job and had started living on the streets with all his possessions in his suitcase because he didn’t know where to turn.

 

My clients received a call from their daughter seeking advice since they both work downtown and know the area. They discouraged their daughter from trying to take him home but put their heads together to come up with a plan. One of them thought of The Salvation Army, called and they were invited to come visit. All five came since they wanted to make sure the young man would be safe. They found themselves warmly welcomed by the receptionist who said there was a place for the young man.

 

The family left him to get settled though their daughter was still concerned about the young man’s welfare. Her father reassured her by stating, “This is what they do.” A few hours later they received a call from the young man and he told them that The Salvation Army was going to let him stay for up to two months while he looked for another job. Then he said, “You know what else? They’re nice to me here.”

 

That’s why I stay involved with the Salvation Army! I share this couple’s confidence in The Salvation Army’s knowledge and passion for meeting the needs of those who are hurting in Oklahoma City, those who have no place else to go, those who have no hope.

If you or someone you know needs a safe place to find rest, please contact us at 405-246-1080 or come to our shelter at 1001 N. Pennsylvania, Oklahoma City, OK 73107.

If you would like to get involved with our shelter ministry, you can:

  • Donate blankets and bath towels for our shelter guests to use during their stay.
  • Click the Donate Now above and give a financial gift to the shelter.

Story of Hope: Katherine

Katherine - Facebook

Katherine with her service dog, Sally, on their bed in The Salvation Army family residential wing.

Moving away from negative family influences in Missouri, Katherine came to Oklahoma with nothing but her husband, son and service dog, Sally. Not wanting to impose on a friend’s hospitality too long, Katherine made calls to see if there was a place for her family to stay.

“I was afraid of being separated from my husband and son at a shelter. I didn’t want that to happen. But when I called the shelter here, I was told there was a room where we could all stay just like a hotel.”

Since coming to stay with us 12 weeks ago, Katherine’s husband has found a job and her family is about to receive their own apartment.

“It’s been life changing to be here & have the opportunity to start over for my son. He’s in a safe environment and can focus on his education. The Salvation Army is such a great place where you can focus on your experiences and work on making a change.”

Katherine and her family will be moving into an apartment at the end of the week. Because of your donations, your prayers, your sacrifice, stories like Katherine’s happen every day.

“Being here, I’ve been able to find God again. I can’t say it enough how grateful I am for this place. I would do anything for The Salvation Army. I want to get involved and give back so someone else can benefit from my experiences.”

If you would like to make a difference in the life of someone just like Katherine, click the Donate Now button above and financially support our shelter programs.