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The Morning Brew: OKC's growing problem

HOMELESSNESS on the rise 

While Oklahoma City has been moving forward at a rapid rate in the last 20 years thanks in part to MAPS, and other developments like the Thunder's arrival, its experiencing a growth in the number of homeless people on its streets. The Oklahoman's Silas Allen takes a look at what is an old, but growing problem. 

Look high up under any highway overpass near downtown Oklahoma City, and there's a good chance you'll see tarps, sleeping bags and blankets draped across the crevices just under the bridge.

Walk through certain patches of woods or empty lots in the city, and you might find tents, shopping carts and remnants of campfires from the night before.

Each night, hundreds of people sleep under bridges, on city streets and in homeless encampments throughout Oklahoma City. Although unsheltered homelessness, also called street homelessness, isn't a new phenomenon in Oklahoma City, a recent report suggests it's on the rise. Some advocates say that uptick is due in part to a shift in priorities at two of the largest organizations that serve the city's homeless population.

In recent years, officials at the City Rescue Mission and Jesus House have refocused their efforts toward recovery programs that are designed to help people cope with addiction, mental health issues and other barriers that keep them out of housing.

More here.


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Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›