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Tulsa COVID-19 Relief Funding

Tulsa CARES Banner


Updated March 2024


The City of Tulsa is addressing the needs of disproportionately impacted Tulsans and ensuring the city’s resilience through community-driven programming. The City received $30.9 million in reimbursements for public safety expenses from the State of Oklahoma’s Coronavirus Relief Funds, $87.8 million from the U.S. Department of the Treasury in the amount of from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and $21 million in Emergency Rental Assistance Plan (ERAP) funding. 

Get a glimpse of the impact these COVID-19 Relief funds have in the community through these videos: EnglishSpanish 


Coronavirus Relief Funding

This program provided subsidized Internet access to local families with public school students and Tulsa Housing Authority residents who lacked Internet access during the pandemic. The funds also launched the Tulsa Responds team which acted as navigators and helped families get connected, ensure they knew what Internet options were available, and helped them navigate any technological challenges.

Impact: More than 2,400 households enrolled

Partners: Jenks Public Schools, Tulsa Public Schools, Union Public Schools, Tulsa Community Foundation, Tulsa Housing Authority, ImpactTulsa and Cox Communications.

From September 2020 to June 2021, the funds provided day and night shelter services at the former Juvenile Detention Center for individuals experiencing homelessness, including warm meals, legal aid, case management and free pet clinics. The funds allocated also provide hotel facilities to prevent overcrowding in shelters and community spread of COVID-19. Individuals who test positive for the virus are safely quarantined at the City Lights Hotel and provide daily meals. Community partners also coordinate outreach to people experiencing homelessness and have helped permanently house individuals.

Impact: More than 27,021 visits at overflow shelter, more than 47,910 meals provided by Iron Gate, 230 people have been sheltered at City Lights Hotel (85 of those have tested positive for COVID-19), 51 people have been placed in permanent housing, and thanks to a partnership with local restaurants, more than 60,000 meals were provided to guests in the first year of the pandemic.  in the past year.

Partners: Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, City Lights Foundation, Tulsa Day Center, A Better Way, A Way Home for Tulsa, Iron Gate, Skyline Animal Hospital, Community Service Council, Housing Solutions

Overflow Shelter Services: September 2020 to June 2021

The City utilized the funds for public facility improvements and modifications to support public health. The phased buildout of the facilities includes ultraviolet light kits for air sanitation, touchless system modifications to restroom facilities and points of entry and exit, temperature monitoring stations, personal protective equipment and more. Of these funds, $500,000 will be utilized to provide air scrubbers to help reduce airborne contaminants for multiple offsite City of Tulsa locations to ensure a healthy and safe working environment for employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Tulsa County CARES provided the Downtown Coordinating Council (DCC) funds to help small businesses during the pandemic. DCC provided $10,000 grants to eligible Downtown businesses to expand operations outdoors via a parklet, sidewalk cafe and street dining.

Impact: More than $400,000 awarded to 43 small businesses

The Financial Navigators (FN) program provided an opportunity for residents to access guidance over the phone at no cost to answer common questions regarding financial concerns, such as prioritizing daily living expenses and managing debt. FN counselors provide services in English, Spanish and Burmese. 

The Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) provides more in-depth counseling by a professional financial counselor to help individuals tackle debt, increase savings and improve credit. This program offers recurring appointments with counselors to track progress. FEC counselors provide services in English and Spanish, but a language line is also accessible to offer services in other languages.

Watch the Financial Empowerment Center Launch Video: English
Watch the FEC and tax services video: English | Spanish


  • Financial Navigators: 253 sessions completed for Financial Navigators and 1,870 referrals given (top three topics: utilities hardship, rental assistance, food insecurity)
  • Financial Empowerment Center: To date, the FEC has helped nearly 856 people with one-on-one financial counseling through 2,723 sessions. More than $928,904 in debt has been reduced among the clients, and savings have been increased by more than $289,232.

Partners: Goodwill Industries of Tulsa, Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund

Launch Date of Financial Navigators: August 3, 2020
Launch Date of Financial Empowerment Center: December 10, 2020

  • The student support camps offered daycare services for children in first through sixth grades at City parks and recreation centers to help with virtual learning and classroom work, while adhering to social distance guidelines.

Impact: Camps averaged between 70 to 80 students daily at five community centers throughout the city. All the centers also offered "Virtual Wednesdays," when Tulsa Public Schools were closed to in-person learning.

Program Services: September 2020 - March 2021

Tulsa County CARES provided the Downtown Coordinating Council $81,950 to help support the personal health and safety of Tulsans. In combination of $12,6000 awarded by the State of Oklahoma, the City used the funds to supply portable public restroom facilities to be used by vulnerable individuals or those experiencing homelessness. The facilities were serviced and sanitized daily for six months, while providing employment to individuals experiencing homelessness to help keep Downtown public areas clean amid the pandemic. The funds were also used to cover the costs for sanitation supplies and equipment.

Impact: Two sanitation ambassadors hired; sanitation supplies acquired and deployed throughout downtown

Partners: A Better Way, Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, Tulsa County

Launch Date: Week of October 12, 2020

The Tulsa Fire Department installed automated vehicle location tracking in fire vehicles to provide reliable, wireless network connection and remote monitoring for the department's mobile responder fleet.

The City of Tulsa allocated funds for two new positions (Program Manager and Communications Specialist) to oversee the City's efforts to utilize COVID-19 relief funds to reduce the first and second order effects of the pandemic and to formulate a communications strategy to ensure businesses and Tulsa residents are aware of the programs and resources available.

The funds will be utilized for Veritor Plus Influenza and Strep Kits for City employees for early detection in order to keep employees safe and healthy amid the pandemic.

The City of Tulsa is partnering with Tulsa Community WorkAdvance, a local workforce development program, to support Tulsans who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Retrain Tulsa will be a physical and online space for job seekers to access career services and soft skills training. The goal is help 500 Tulsans find high-wage employment in different sectors, such as healthcare, information technology, professional services, and advanced manufacturing.

Partners: Tulsa Community WorkAdvance

The City of Tulsa has partnered with 36 Degrees North, a local nonprofit focusing on co-working and innovation, to provide physical space and resources to high-growth startup companies. The funds were utilized to launch a business incubation program out of the fifth floor of City Hall, which was vacant for the past two years. Lease revenues from 36 Degrees North will be used to replenish the Pandemic Relief Fund, which will allow for funding of additional recovery efforts in the city.

Impact: As of May 2022, the incubator is 92% occupied and has served more than 50 companies. Since the incubator's launch, 36 Degrees North has seen millions of dollars invested into Tulsa's startups by capital partners housed in the incubator.

Partners: 36 Degrees North

Launch Date: July 2021

Funds were used to enhance the methamphetamine treatment plan at 12&12 in Tulsa that began before COVID-19 to address Tulsa’s largest drug problem. 12&12 is one of the state’s largest comprehensive community addiction recovery centers for adults. Funding went toward hiring a case manager and two peer recovery support specialists in this multi-partner collaboration to treat methamphetamine addiction.

Partners: 12&12, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services, Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Family and Children’s Services, the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, George Kaiser Family Foundation, Workforce Tulsa, Sangha Sober Living, Healthy Minds Policy Initiative, Mental Health Association Oklahoma, Tulsa Police Department, Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office, Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office

The presence of refuge islands along the Admiral Corridor will allow pedestrians to focus on one direction of traffic at a time as they cross the street. This area is currently responsible for 30% of the pedestrian deaths in Tulsa. Improvements will also provide ADA accommodations and reduce injury and fatalities.

These funds will be used to purchase language and translation services for COT departments. The funds will primarily support the translation of vital documents that are necessary for accessing a city service, such as a water shutoff notice or enrollment forms and phone interpretation for COT departments interacting with citizens.

The 21st Street Market will be the state’s first business incubator focusing on immigrant entrepreneurs that will promote intercity tourism, serve as a model for economic growth and represent an investment in Tulsa’s most culturally diverse community.

Partners: East Tulsa Main Street, Inc.

Greenwood Entrepreneurship @ Moton (GEM) will serve as a physical incubator space redeveloped from the historic Moton Health Center at Pine St. and N. Greenwood Ave. where North Tulsa entrepreneurs can turn their vision into a reality.

Partners: Tulsa Economic Development Corporation (TEDC), Partner Tulsa

A program with Tulsa Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) to provide property tax assistance to low-income homeowners, create a pilot program for title clearing and correction services. Check your eligibility at

Partners: Tulsa Economic Development Corporation (TEDC), Creative Captial

Federal Funding for Coronavirus Relief

The federal funds were used to continue assisting individuals and families experiencing homelessness to gain stability and transition to permanent housing. The funds were used for homelessness prevention, rapid rehousing program, shelter services and operations, and street outreach activities. The grant assisted with costs associated with temporary emergency shelter operations (including quarantining clients in motels), shelter services, case management, direct client housing assistance, and street outreach activities.

Partners: City of Tulsa, Youth Services of Tulsa, Salvation Army, Mental Health Association Oklahoma, Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Legal Aid, Tulsa Day Center, Family Safety Center, Center for Housing Solutions, Tulsa CARES

The federal funds will be utilized to assist in community development activities. The grant will assist with costs associated with economic recovery through small business loans and financial empowerment centers, physical improvements related to COVID-19, and increased public service programs, including but not limited to health services, job training and emergency payments.

Partners: TEDC, Goodwill

The federal funds were used to help people living with HIV/AIDS through the Tulsa CARES social services organization. The grant assisted with costs associated with short term rent mortgage and utilities (STRMU) payments, permanent housing placements, support services and administrative costs.

Internal Infrastructure Funding

The amounts allocated were used for the City's internal funding, including convention and tourism facilities fund and general fund.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

ERA1: $12,043,792 - Complete

ERA2: $9,529,689

The City of Tulsa received over $21 million dollars in ERAP funds to assist low-income and pandemic-affected Tulsans with rent and utility payments. The City partnered with Restore Hope Ministries, Inc., a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit, to help keep eligible citizens in their homes.

For more information about this program, visit

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

The City of Tulsa launched two grant processes to award reimbursable grants from COVID-19 relief funding to 501(c)(3) nonprofits in order to address the negative effects of the pandemic.

Learn more about the Relief Grant recipients and the process

As part of the City of Tulsa’s agreement with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, we must maintain a complaint log of any complaints of discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or national origin and limited English proficiency covered by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

To file a complaint, please complete this form, print and return it to the City Clerk’s Office, located at City Hall.

City of Tulsa , Office of the City Clerk , 175 East 2nd St., Suite 260 , Tulsa, OK 74103-3223

Project list for American Rescue Plan Act and Coronavirus Relief Funding