The Woodward News

Local News

July 25, 2012

Outreach center in need of donations

Woodward, Okla. — The High Plains Outreach Center is in need of funding to assist with month to month services.

"It is a month to month struggle to keep our doors open," Sue Everson, executive director of the outreach center, said. "Some months we have more people than in other months, which makes those months even harder."

The center provides a place for individuals and families to stay for a limited amount of time.  It operates on donations and funds are getting tight, the director said.

"We are always needing money for bills and food, but we can always use other items as well," Everson said.

Items that they would be happy to take include, any type of paper products like bath tissue and paper towels. They can also use cleaning supplies and bath towels.

"We will take just about anything if people want to donate," Everson said.

The outreach center averages housing about 10 people per month, but in March and May they assisted 14 people.

"The purpose of the outreach center is to help those who are in need of the basics of life, food and shelter," Everson said. She added the center deals mostly with men, since women who need assistance often go to a women's shelter.

"It takes a lot to feed a house full of men, and that is where most of our budget goes when we are full," Everson said.

She said the Catholic Church gives the shelter $50 to use at United every month, but that doesn't go nearly far enough.

"We keep the basics, like bread, milk, cereal and such on hand," Everson said.

The outreach center does have rules that people staying there must follow.

"They have to be able to work and be looking for a job," she said. "We give them a week to find a job, but if they are trying hard, but not hearing back from people, we give them longer.

"People are given 30 days that they are allowed to stay at the shelter. Most of the time if people are working and trying to better themselves, we will give them a little longer till they get money saved for a place of their own."

Finding affordable housing, Everson said, is the biggest challenge for their clients.

"If it is just one person, to find a place to live in Woodward, plus putting down all of the deposits, many of them just can't afford it," Everson said.

After the tornado in April, Everson said they had 2 couples that came to stay until they were able to move in with some family and 1 man who stayed for 44 days.

"The tornado took the roof off of his trailer, so he stayed here until all the repairs were made and he was able to move back in," Everson said. "In fact he just called the other day to let us know how he was doing."

Everson encourages all of their former clients to keep in touch just so they can see their progress.

The outreach center is located at 1220 7th St. and if you are interested in donating call 254-5162.

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