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City of Tulsa, A Way Home for Tulsa Launch “Change the Way you Give” Campaign

This article was archived on 3/12/2023
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The City of Tulsa and A Way Home for Tulsa are launching their “Change the Way you Give” signage campaign today to give Tulsans an alternative way to support people who are panhandling.  

The signs (picture attached), which will primarily be located in south Tulsa share two key pieces of information: how to donate via text for those with a desire to help, and how to get support for those who need help.   

The City of Tulsa is incredibly lucky to have great collaboration among housing and homeless service providers who are constantly striving to aid members of our community,” said Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum. “The Change the Way you Give campaign provides Tulsans with an opportunity to help their neighbors in a different way – a text-to-give contribution that will be dispersed among Tulsa nonprofits providing complex and long-term homeless prevention and housing supports to those who need it most.” 

“Tulsans are generous of heart and spirit, many want to help improve the quality of life for our most vulnerable neighbors,” District 7 Tulsa City Councilor Lori Decter-Wright said. “When asked for cash at busy intersections, there’s often uneasiness about simply handing it out the window. These new signs help guide caring and compassionate giving in support of local nonprofit agencies working every day to provide essential services to ensure that homelessness is rare, brief and nonrecurring in our community.” 

"Tulsans want to help other Tulsans. But many of us are unsure of the best way to provide help and support,” District 8 Tulsa City Councilor Phil Lakin said. “These signs direct us to change how we give, by giving to a nonprofit that works to house and care for the homeless. Now, when we see a need, we have a proven way to act, and to share what we have with others." 

"I am thrilled that we are now installing these signs, which will help provide safe options for generous Tulsans to give to those in need," District 2 City Councilor Jeannie Cue said. "I urge all residents to use these signs, and I appreciate all of the hard work from City staff in getting them made and put in place." 

Funds raised through the text-to-give option will be overseen by Housing Solutions, the lead agency for A Way Home for Tulsa. AWH4T is a continuum of care with more than 40 voting organizations that exists to plan and implement strategies that support a system of outreach, engagement, assessment, prevention and evaluation for those experiencing homelessness, or those persons at risk of homelessness, within Tulsa city/county.  

“We are so grateful to the City of Tulsa for being a partner in our efforts to help vulnerable people in our city,” said Becky Gligo, Housing Solutions executive director. “We are eager to be engaged in solutions that are mutually beneficial for this community we love. This collaboration has resulted in a program that engages and assists our neighbors who are experiencing housing insecurity.” 

The funds will support A Way Home for Tulsa’s strategic plan, which prioritizes making homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring. In 2022, partner agencies housed 1,078 people experiencing homelessness. In addition to housing, they also provide support services and opportunities for employment. The money received will be distributed among the entities under A Way Home for Tulsa depending on their need. 

The campaign is not intended to prevent panhandling, but to provide an alternative option to support vulnerable Tulsans. Texting to donate to A Way Home for Tulsa could be a preferred option for people who prefer to contribute to the overall collaborative housing effort or people who don’t carry cash but want to help. 

“Tulsa is special because it’s a place where the community is full of really giving people who want to help,” said Mack Haltom, chair of A Way Home for Tulsa's leadership council. “People will still have the option to give money to people who are panhandling, but this gives them a way to give even if they don’t have cash or if they are looking for a way to contribute that benefits long-term solutions.”