First Meeting to be Held in 2023 with City Leaders and Key Stakeholders
Last month during his State of the City address, Mayor Bynum announced a task force would be created in coordination with the Tulsa City Council to evaluate opportunities for the City of Tulsa to be of greater assistance in addressing homelessness in Tulsa.
With the community need at an all-time high and with additional tools on the way to combat homelessness, the taskforce will convene experts from all sectors to develop a strategy for ways in which the city can better support existing community efforts to address homelessness.
“Cities across America are rethinking their role in addressing homelessness, and we want Tulsa to be a leader in this work,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “We have an outstanding network of local experts to rely upon through A Way Home For Tulsa, and we have launched a number of important initiatives for the year ahead - including the Tulsa Housing Challenge, establishing a low barrier shelter, and certifying faith-based institutions to provide emergency sheltering facilities. These are an important starting point, but we want to engage concerned stakeholders from throughout the community to determine how else the city government can be most helpful in reducing homelessness. I appreciate each of the members of this task force for their time and commitment to helping us do better.”
Task force meetings will start after the first of the year and more information will be available as details are finalized.
"I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and help work to not only reduce houselessness but also address the underlying causes and the effects on all of our residents,” Tulsa City Council Chair Crista Patrick said. “If we work together, we can create a better tomorrow for all Tulsans."
Over the past two years, the City funded an historic $14 million on homeless initiatives in Tulsa, representing a 2,500 percent increase in the City’s average annual funding for homelessness programs. These funds focused on opening emergency shelters, rapid re-housing, outreach services, medical services and financial assistance.
The City also continues to fund a number of programs that help with some of the larger issues that can contribute to homelessness, including the Better Way program, the Community Response Team, the Tulsa Sobering Center and the Tulsa’s Financial Empowerment Center, to name a few.
For future planning, the City set a lofty goal to realize $500 million in community investment in housing initiatives over the next two years to create more housing stock in Tulsa. The City also announced it would open a low barrier shelter and create emergency shelter locations for individuals experiencing homelessness in the coming year.
Homelessness Task force Members
Mayor G.T. Bynum
City Council Chair Crista Patrick
City Council Vice Chair Jeannie Cue
City Councilor Lori Decter Wright
City Councilor Phil Lakin
Deputy Mayor Cassia Carr
Working In Neighborhoods Director James Wagner
Housing Policy Director Travis Hulse
Housing Solutions Executive Director Becky Gligo
QuikTrip Manager of Public & Government Affairs Michael Junk
Healthy Minds Executive Director Zack Stoycoff