NORMAN — United Way of Norman has released $5,000 in emergency funds to help with a dramatic increase in homeless families seeking assistance.
Extreme temperatures are forcing many inside, and the need has only worsened because of families displaced by wildfires, officials said.
The Salvation Army shelter is at capacity, and officials with Food and Shelter, which provides housing and/or meals for the homeless, say their budget has been stretched to the limits because they are providing motel rooms for some of the families.
“We've had families call churches and other agencies to try to find a place to stay,” said Food and Shelter Executive Director April Doshier. “But many of these families had nowhere else to go, so motels were the only option. That gets very expensive.”
Kristen Martin, with the Salvation Army, said the Norman shelter is sleeping up to 40 people every night. The shelter, which normally closes during the day, is being kept open around the clock because of the extreme heat, she said.
COOLING OFF STATIONS
The following “cooling off stations” are available to people trying to escape the heat during the day.