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City Lights Foundation Selected to Operate Low Barrier Shelter

Shelter Expected to Open in 2024


(Tulsa, OK)- City Lights Foundation of Oklahoma has been selected to operate a non-congregate low barrier shelter and case management program for the City of Tulsa.


The low barrier shelter is part of the Mayor/Council’s Housing, Homelessness and Mental Health (3H) Task Force’s (3H) nine immediate action steps announced in August of 2023. The City Lights Foundation of Oklahoma was selected based on its response to the City’s request for proposals that went out in November of 2023.


“I am eager to open Tulsa’s low barrier shelter in partnership with the proven team at City Lights,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “Working together, we will get more Tulsans off the streets and connect them with people who can give them the compassion and assistance they need to get back on their feet.”


The low barrier shelter is a referral-based program for unsheltered individuals who are unable to access other available services and temporary housing options. With the selection of City Lights Foundation, the City of Tulsa and City Lights Foundation will begin the contract process and make logistical plans to move the low barrier shelter forward. While the specific site for the shelter has not yet been determined, the estimated capacity for services is around 50-75 households at a time.


"In the 3H Task Force we learned from our local hospitals, public safety employees, and partners of the incredible need for this type of service in our community,” District 2 City Councilor and City Council Chair Jeannie Cue said.  “I am thrilled that we have a partner with the right amount of compassion and medical experience to serve these individuals. I'm so thankful to everyone who applied for this effort, and to all of our other organizational partners supporting 3H programs and initiatives. We could not do this without you."”


The low barrier shelter will act as a navigation center to provide opportunities for intensive onsite case management and healthcare along with embedded services to help connect clients to the most appropriate permanent housing option.


“We are honored to have been chosen to operate such an impactful and important program,” said Sarah Grounds, Executive Director of the City Lights Foundation of Oklahoma. “We look forward to working collaboratively with the city and the community to create a supportive environment that addresses the urgent needs of our neighbors experiencing homelessness while working towards permanency, which is the ultimate goal of all of our programs.”


Services provided to each participant will be unique to their individual situation. The goal of the low barrier shelter is to resolve the root cause(s) of each participant’s homelessness and to help locate and prepare them for permanent housing within 120 days of them entering the program.


For more information on the 3H Task Force, visit  


For more information on housing in Tulsa, visit


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