Driving to work one day on a cold morning, I saw a homeless man with a sign at the sign of the road – ‘HOmeless veteran, any help appreciated’ Eventually I met several of these men, and discovered them to be honorable patriots that had not been able to find steady work and accomodation since leaving the military. I believe we need to do better for these warriors who have left all in deployment to defend the freedoms we all enjoy.
The question to be answered is: ‘Will we do something like this to help the 140( current statistic obtained from the Community Service Council) homeless veterans here in Tulsa, Oklahoma?’
I am convinced it needs to be done and can be done with the support of the people of Tulsa: https://www.veteranscommunityproject.org/about
The VA does a great job with medical support, and there are resources here to help vets reintegrate to civilian life, but that is very tough to do living under a bridge or in a tent village.
Several weeks ago I drove up Kansas City to tour the tiny home community up there, to see what we can learn to do something similar in Tulsa.
Veterans Community Project Update
Well, I have continued to stir the Tulsa pot to generate support for a transitional housing community of tiny homes for homeless veterans here in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Last week I attended our City council meeting, and met briefly afterwards with councilman Cas Fahler, and told him what I am trying to do. I asked him if the City might potentially get behind this project, and he bluntly asked: What do you need from the City? I said: Could you donate the land for this on a bus route so guys can get to work? His response was encouraging: ‘ I can’t speak for the rest of counctl, but we definitely have land available, do you have a site plan?’ Last week I did not, but I contacted our architect from work, the legendary Joel Collins and asked if he might be willing to donate his services to this project, and he said :”Sure, send me the info.”
So I thought back to my visit to the Kansas City Veterans Community Project, and remember how impressed I was with the community center and offices that housed the case managers that daily meet with vets to help them with everything from job searches to cooking classes, to obtaining medical and even dental treatment, and how impressed I was with the quality of care being provided our warriors, and ultimate patriots as they transition from military to civilian life. So I made and appointment and met with Dr. Horton at ‘The Coffer Bunker’ and spoke with him about my desire. He is an amazing man, with a real heart to help vets trainsition into normal life here back home. They provide a drop in coffee house, that provides services to help vets transition, and he too, sees the need for transitional housing or homeless vets. He told me that they already have around 100 permanent housing units available to them, but that unless people received the counselling and lifeskills training our program would offer, it has been his experience that most vets crash and burn being placed in permanent housing units, often getting evicted within the first two months, due to trashing the place partying, or neglecting it.
In the facility I saw in Kansas City, this was addressed daily, through great community support and the work of the staff there.
SO I asked him point blank. “Sir, f I can get this facility built, would you be willing to move your office and staff into it, to provide all the transitional services you are experienced in’ HE said: ‘Sure, that there is a need for transitional housing for vets here in Tulsa, and this program could fill the gap in services available for the homeless veteran population here in town.
 According to statistics obtained from CRC. The Community Research Council, the VA records at least 140 homeless vets are on the streets of Tulsa, OK.