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Meet George, the Pershing Center mascot

George is the one permanent guest at the Pershing Center, which provides transitional housing for the homeless. Like the other residents, he found a new life there.
by Ken Raymond Published: May 15, 2012

The Pershing Center provides transitional housing for the poor and indigent. No one can stay there longer than two years ... except for one permanent resident named George.

“As the center was under construction, we leased an apartment building on NW 8,” said Larry Bross, executive director of City Care. “Half was occupied by our residents. The other half was prostitutes and drug dealers. It was a baptism by fire breaking in our case managers there.

“One day this little kitten comes up. He had been set on fire, and he'd been stabbed by some drug addicts.”

The workers and residents saved his life, and George moved with them to the Pershing Center when it opened in 2002. His veterinary bills are paid by the residents, who raise the money by cashing in aluminum cans.

“Now he weighs about 30 pounds,” Larry said. “He's our one mascot here.”

He's a perfect example of what City Care does, said Masie Bross, Larry's wife.

“From hopelessness, homelessness, danger, all kinds of lack, he came here and his life is flourishing, and that's exactly what our residents experience,” Masie said.

“You should see him: No stress, provided for, content, fat, purrs all the time. There are no remnants of his former life. None. He has been transformed,” Masie said.

by Ken Raymond
Book Editor
Ken Raymond is the book editor. He joined The Oklahoman in 1999. He has won dozens of state, regional and national writing awards. Three times he has been named the state's "overall best" writer by the Society of Professional Journalists. In...
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