OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma opens its doors at its 1001 N. Pennsylvania Avenue location to those who need emergency overnight shelter during the dangerous cold with the help of its neighbors at The Homeless Alliance, City Care, the United Way of Central Oklahoma and Elite Protection Services.
“Thanks to the wonderful support of this community, as well as collaborative partners like The Homeless Alliance, City Care and The United Way, we’re thrilled to be able to open our cold weather shelter,” says Major Thomas McWilliams, area commander for The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command. “The bitterly cold temperatures are a significant danger to families lacking proper housing or a dependable source of hot meals.”
The Salvation Army, a United Way of Central Oklahoma partner agency, has a valuable resource in this partnership as opportunities to openly discuss the need has led to several agencies stepping up to help. One of those partner agencies is The Homeless Alliance.
“On any given night in Oklahoma City, there are 1,400 people who are homeless, 300 of whom are unsheltered and living on our streets, under bridges and in camps scattered across our community. When temperatures drop below freezing those people, our neighbors, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, are at horrible risk,” said Dan Straughan, executive director for The Homeless Alliance. “Oklahoma City has a long history of coming together to help our neighbors in need. In this time of direst need for our city’s 300+ unsheltered homeless people, The Homeless Alliance is proud to stand in the gap with City Care, The Salvation Army and the United Way.”
The Salvation Army warming station will open its doors each evening when the temperatures drop to 32 degrees or below. “May the Lord bless all of those who find themselves out in the frigid conditions as well as those who are stepping in to help as we work together to provide a warm place to those struggling with the cold,” said McWilliams.
In addition to its emergency shelter operations, The Salvation Army also provides a warm meal each evening in its Red Shield Diner and Kitchen where anyone in need of a meal can drop in. The evening meal is served at 5 p.m. The Red Shield Diner & Kitchen annually serves over 150,000 meals.
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