A day in the life of the Day Center

Every day hundreds of Tulsans visit the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless to fill basic needs. Many are also working with case managers to create a plan for the future.



Adairia Watts reads a newspaper at the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless.

Angel Hughes estimates that she knows about 85 percent of the more than 400 faces who walk past her each day at the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless.

Hughes, the front desk and day manager of the Day Center, is the first person those seeking shelter see when they arrive each morning.

As clients begin filing in at 8 a.m., they present their tuberculosis card to Hughes and a volunteer. The card, which proves that they do not have the infectious disease, is one of the few items needed to receive services, and one of the first items people new to the shelter seek out.

After showing their TB cards, clients present their belongings to an officer for inspection. Some carry their possessions — clothes, shoes, toiletries, books — in rolling suitcases and purses; others simply use trash bags to carry everything they own. 

Once inside, the hundreds of people who have come off the street can begin the activities that many of us take for granted, such as using a clean bathroom, taking a shower, checking e-mail, washing clothes, making phone calls and receiving mail, as many clients use the Day Center as their address.

The Day Center also provides cereal in the morning to those who have spent the night, and snacks are available throughout the day. Many clients visit The Salvation Army Center of Hope for lunch, and each evening a church group provides a meal at the Day Center.

Additionally, about one-fourth of clients at the shelter during the day meet with a case manager to develop and work on a plan for the future.

“We set goals with people to secure housing, to secure employment, to get job training if they need it,” says Sandra Lewis, the Day Center’s executive director.

To help facilitate reaching those goals, the Day Center hosts Community Voice Mail (CVM), a free voice mail service for homeless and low-income people.

Without a permanent home, people at the Day Center do not have access to a regular landline phone, says Lori Morton, program manager for Tulsa Community Voice Mail. Although some Day Center clients use pay-by-the-minute cell phones, minutes often run out by the end of the month, compromising that person’s ability to remain connected. CVM, however, is more reliable and consistent, conserving minutes for clients by helping them determine whom to call back.  

Sandra LewisCVM messages can be checked using any phone, including landlines, pay phones, lobby phones, Day Center phones or cell phones. Clients call the CVM number, enter a personalized PIN and access their messages. Messages can be repeated, saved or erased.

Eligible participants sign up for CVM at any of the 46 participating agencies, including the Day Center, Goodwill Industries of Tulsa and Workforce Oklahoma, to obtain a free local number, where they can customize a greeting. The service, which came to Tulsa in February 2008, has been instrumental in helping 344 people find housing, 285 find employment and 199 find health care, Morton says.

There’s no limit to the length of time clients can use the number — as long as they check it, they can keep it, Morton says. But when the client has reached his or her goal, the voice mailbox can be reset and the number recycled for a new client.

In addition to acting as voice mail, CVM is also a way to inform large groups of people about health alerts or other worthwhile information they may not otherwise receive, such as a tornado alert or an upcoming ice storm.

Also, every Monday, a list of available jobs is delivered via broadcast messaging. The list includes information about the job locations and transit suggestions. Broadcast messages are sent like any other voice mail and include a tag or subject line so the client can determine whether the information is relevant to him or her.

“Not everybody is attached to the radio and TV and know we’re in a flash flood warning, for example,” Morton says, noting that using the phone helps inform people who may be illiterate.

Currently, 1,300 people use CVM, many of whom were connected with the service as part of their work with their case manager.

Kristina Giustozzi, a case manager at the Day Center, has about 40 to 50 clients she connects with resources around Tulsa. She also connects countless others with services and resources, although she only meets with them occasionally.

For example, she says, if someone is looking for food stamps, she will link that person with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and advocate on behalf of the client that he or she is homeless and needs the aid.

As 4 p.m. comes around, the majority of those at the Day Center leave, spending the night at another local shelter. But the Day Center does not close. Not completely. Every night, 125 people stay at the Day Center — women, men over the age of 55, and those with a mental illness — watched over by a staff member and security guard.

For these clients, a safe place to sleep has been assured. Tomorrow, they will continue working to ensure they have a safe place to sleep every night.

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Contact Name: Ellen McGivern

More information

 join us in welcoming current Tulsa Artist Fellowship participant CARRIE DICKASON and her lively, inquisitive exhibit 'Revealing Patterns'.       'Revealing...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
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Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

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Performances Fri., July 21 at 7:00 p.m Sun., July 23 at 2:30 p.m Thurs., July 27 at 7:00 p.m Fri., July 28 at 7:00 p.m Sun., July 30 at 2:30 p.m Tickets Tickets will go on sale...

Cost: $10.00

Where:
Boston Avenue Church
1301 S Boston Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74119
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Sponsor: Music Office
Telephone: 918.699.0138
Website »

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Where:
American Legion Post 308
11328 E Admiral Pl
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Ed's Hurricane Lounge
3216 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 587-6426

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Cost: $10

Where:
Vanguard
222 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (319) 804-9727
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Where:
River Spirit Casino - Volcano Stage
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Where:
Smitty's 118 Tavern
118 East Main St
Jenks, OK
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Telephone: (918) 995-2277
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Cost: $30-$40

Where:
River Spirit Casino - Paradise Cove
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Cabin Creek
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
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Website »

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Monster mud trucks get down and dirty.

Where:
Tulsa Raceway Park
3103 N Garnett
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 437-7223
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Come face to face with dinosaurs.

Cost: $18-$34

Where:
Cox Business Center
100 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Telephone: 918.894.4350
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Cost: $10

Where:
Comedy Parlor
328 E 1st St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 921-3535
Website »

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Where:
Inner Circle Vodka Bar
410 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 794-2400
Website »

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Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Website »

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Where:
River Spirit Casino - LandShark Pool Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Website »

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Where:
Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
5 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 928-5299
Website »

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Accio dancing shoes! DJs Uber and Afistaface will be spinning enchanting tunes.

Where:
The Unicorn Club
222 E 1st Street
Tulsa, OK  74135
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Telephone: (918) 551-7447

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Where:
Utopia Bar & Lounge
3508 S Sheridan Rd
Tulsa, OK  74145
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Where:
Dusty Dog Pub
5107 S Harvard
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 933-5473
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Cost: $10

Where:
Comedy Parlor
328 E 1st St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 921-3535
Website »

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Where:
The Max Retropub
114 S Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 895-6200
Website »

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Where:
The Fur Shop
520 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 949-4292
Website »

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Where:
The Bistro At Seville
10021 S Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Riffs
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
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Website »

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Where:
Hunt Club
224 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 599-9200
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Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 794-4208
Website »

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Broadway at Boston Avenue presents a musical comedy that shows loving families come in all shapes and sizes.

Cost: $10

Where:
Boston Avenue Methodist Church
1301 S Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74119
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Where:
Pepper's Grill
2809 E 91st St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 296-0593
Website »

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Grab a snack, find a seat, and let your imagination run wild! Each weekend in July, we’ll look at timeless truths from Hollywood blockbusters. At every service, you can expect a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Life.Church
7071 E. 121st Street S.
Bixby, OK  74008
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Sponsor: Life.Church
Telephone: 918-938-0900
Contact Name: Lesley Hemphill
Website »

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This exhibit features the work of Photographers of Tulsa Oklahoma Group, a group of talented local photographers that includes novices to seasoned professionals. PHOTOG members encourage and help...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
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Sponsor: McKeon Center for Creativity
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Barton
Website »

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Car need washing?  Bring it on down to Jiffy Lube, 2726 S. Harvard, on Saturday, July 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The car wash will be hosted by Crossroads Clubhouse, a local...

Cost: Suggested donation

Where:
Jiffy Lube
2726 S. Harvard Ave.
Tulsa
OK, OK  74114
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Sponsor: Jiffy Lube
Telephone: 918.743.4720
Contact Name: Jason
Website »

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Practice your bird watching skills by picking up a bird species coloring sheet in the Visitor Center before you explore the Garden. Tulsa Botanic Garden is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 for ages 13+; $4 for ages 3–12. 2 & under Free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Website »

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This traveling exhibition curated by Josephine Stealey, chronicles a history of American basketry from its origins in Native American, immigrant, and slave communities to its presence within the...

Cost: Free

Where:
108|Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: 108|Contemporary
Contact Name: Ellen McGivern

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Good Morning Bedlam is performing at Starship Records! Good Morning Bedlam's show is an explosion of energy with soaring harmonies, a banjo player that scissor-kicks in the air, a string...

Cost: Free

Where:
Starship Records
1241 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74104
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Contact Name: Christian Cole

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Children's Musical Theatre Main Stage production of "ANNIE" features area students ages 7-17 as the cast of this classic musical.  The cast rehearses and performs 4 to 5 shows on...

Cost: $14-$24

Where:
Bartlesville Community Center
300 SE Adams Blvd
Bartlesville, OK  74003
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Sponsor: Children's Musical Theatre of Bartlesville
Telephone: 918-336-0558
Contact Name: Jan Watt
Website »

More information

 join us in welcoming current Tulsa Artist Fellowship participant CARRIE DICKASON and her lively, inquisitive exhibit 'Revealing Patterns'.       'Revealing...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Cost: $10-$45

Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N. Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) hosts a Swing dance and lessons  The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) is the only UNESCO recognized dance organization in Oklahoma.  We are a 501c3...

Cost: $7

Where:
Community Center - South Minister Presby Church
3500 So Peoria
1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
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Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
Website »

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Join RSVP of Tulsa at the new ballroom of the River Spirit Resort Casino for an evening of great food, music, dancing, and great silent auction items!  Summer casual attire - feel free to wear...

Cost: $125.00

Where:
River Spirit Resort Casino
8330 Riverside Drive
Tulsa, OK  74136
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Sponsor: RSVP of Tulsa, Inc.
Telephone: 918.280.8656
Contact Name: Jovada Miller
Website »

More information

Performances Fri., July 21 at 7:00 p.m Sun., July 23 at 2:30 p.m Thurs., July 27 at 7:00 p.m Fri., July 28 at 7:00 p.m Sun., July 30 at 2:30 p.m Tickets Tickets will go on sale...

Cost: $10.00

Where:
Boston Avenue Church
1301 S Boston Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: Music Office
Telephone: 918.699.0138
Website »

More information

Where:
The Max Retropub
114 S Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 895-6200
Website »

More information

Where:
Crow Creek Tavern
3534 S Peoria Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 749-9100
Website »

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Where:
Elwood's
1924 Riverside Dr
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 949-9090
Website »

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Cost: $10

Where:
Comedy Parlor
328 E 1st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 921-3535
Website »

More information

Where:
The Cottage Art Gallery
1443 S Gary Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 728-1928
Website »

More information

Where:
Hunt Club
224 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 599-9200
Website »

More information

Where:
River Spirit Casino - Volcano Stage
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Website »

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Where:
The Wine Loft
7890 E. 106th St. S.
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 970-4766
Website »

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Where:
Mercury Lounge
1747 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
River Spirit Casino - LandShark Pool Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Website »

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Making plans for this weekend? You can't do better than The Drunkard & The Olio at the historic Spotlight Theater. You know you've always wanted to go, and now's your chance. And if...

Cost: Adults $20, kids $12, seniors & military $17

Where:
Spotlight Theater
1381 Riverside Dr.
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Website »

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Inner circle goes tiki with Caribbean cuisine, tropical drinks, live music, and fire performers.

Where:
Inner Circle Vodka Bar
410 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 794-2400
Website »

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Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 794-4208
Website »

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Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Cabin Creek
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
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Website »

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Where:
Riverwalk Crossing
300 Riverwalk Terrace
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Website »

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Where:
Starship Records & Tapes
1241 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 583-0638
Website »

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Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Riffs
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
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Website »

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Where:
Soul City
1621 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 607-6005
Website »

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Where:
Soul City
1621 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 607-6005
Website »

More information

Cost: $5

Where:
The Blackbird on Pearl
1336 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 949-1345
Website »

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TULtalk


Details Make DoubleShot's New Digs Extra Special

Old bricks and reclaimed barn wood will give the brand-new coffee roasting HQ — set to open March 2018 — a distinct sense of history and place.

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Let's Get Metaphysical at H2Oasis

Whether you’re in need of a therapeutic massage or just spiritual development, the H2Oasis Conscious Lounge has everything you could want for the body, mind and spirit.

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4 things to do to this month at the Tulsa Botanic Garden

Stop and smell the roses with fun events and hands-on workshops.

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Top 4 Things To Do In Eufala This Summer

There's so much more to Eufaula than its namesake lake. Dive into a summer of fun and culture.

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Love and Laughs with Theatre Pops

July 14-16th, two plays, “Constellations” and “Every Brilliant Thing,” will look at two things we want most in life: love and purpose.

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