Home­less shel­ter prac­tices leave mother con­cerned

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - METRO | STATE - BY SILAS ALLEN Staff Writer [email protected]­la­homan.com

The mother of a man stay­ing at one of Ok­la­homa City’s largest home­less shel­ters says some of the shel­ter’s rules leave her son out in the cold.

Wanda Young’s son has been stay­ing at the Sal­va­tion Army’s home­less shel­ter for sev­eral weeks af­ter be­ing re­leased from prison on pro­ba­tion. Young, of Moore, said the shel­ter’s staff turn her son and oth­ers out nearly ev­ery day shortly be­fore 8 a.m. Young said that rule leaves her son out on the street on morn­ings when it’s cold or rain­ing.

Be­cause Young lives in Cleve­land County, her son’s pro­ba­tion re­quire­ments don’t al­low him to stay with her, mean­ing the Sal­va­tion Army’s shel­ter is his only op­tion for the time be­ing, she said.

Maj. Su­san El­lis, the Sal­va­tion Army’s area com­man­der for Ok­la­homa City, said the shel­ter’s rules re­quire peo­ple to leave by 7:30 a.m. on week­days, un­less tem­per­a­tures are below freez­ing or dan­ger­ously hot. The shel­ter’s staff also makes ex­cep­tions to the rule for moth­ers with chil­dren and peo­ple who work night shifts, and also if it’s snow­ing, she said.

Most peo­ple who don’t have any­where else to go dur­ing the day go to the Home­less Al­liance’s day shel­ter, El­lis said. But the day shel­ter is a half mile away, and much of the route be­tween the two fa­cil­i­ties has no side­walks. No city bus route runs be­tween the two fa­cil­i­ties.

She sym­pa­thizes with Young’s con­cerns, El­lis said, but the shel­ter’s staff needs to have the build­ing mostly empty dur­ing the day so they can clean, do laun­dry and get ready for the fol­low­ing evening.

“I un­der­stand that it’s not ideal,” El­lis said. “Right now, it’s just the way our pro­gram has been de­signed.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.