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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September 2019

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Cost: $15

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Telephone: (405) 236-3100
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View map »


Telephone: 713-224-9115
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Cost: Adults $5/Kids Free

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Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

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Cost: $50

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Sponsor: Rooms With A Heart Inc.
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The Evening of Giving is a fundraising gala held in late September and presented by the HBA Remodelers Council to raise funds to support local charities. This year's beneficiary is Revitalizing...

Cost: TBA

Where:
Mike Fretz Event Center
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Telephone: 918-663-5820
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Cost: $25 - above

Where:
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1212 E 45th Place
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View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Contact Name: Dan Meagher
Website »

More information

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Cost: $15 Bistro / $10 General Admission

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View map »


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Website »

More information

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Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
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View map »


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Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Cost: Free and open to the community

Where:
Woodland Hills Mall
7021 S Memorial Dr.
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Telephone: 713-224-9115
Contact Name: Woodland Hills Mall

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
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View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Experience the sites, sounds and smells of Greece!  The best lil stop in OPA!homa - just off route 66. Live music, dancing, kids zone, Greek food and drink, delectable baked goods, Greek...

Cost: Adults $5/Kids Free

Where:
13th & Guthrie Ave
1222 S. Guthrie Ave

Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Greek Festival
Telephone: 918-583-2082
Contact Name: Tonya Boone
Website »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

Get moved with Tulsa Ballet! Experience incredible works from the most in-demand choreographers in the world at Creations in Studio K. Tickets start at $25. Read all about the exciting pieces...

Cost: $25 - above

Where:
Tulsa Ballet - Studio K
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Contact Name: Dan Meagher
Website »

More information

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View map »


Sponsor: Portico Dance Theatre
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Contact Name: Linda Davis
Website »

More information

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Cost: 15-20

Where:
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110 E. 2nd St.
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View map »


Sponsor: Portico Dance Theatre
Telephone: 918-321-0682
Contact Name: Linda Davis
Website »

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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Cost: $10

Where:
ONEOK FIELD
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Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 405-234-7095
Contact Name: Astrid Rodriguez
Website »

More information

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Cost: 5K - $20; 1 mile - $10; Ages 5 and under – Free

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


Sponsor: St. Jude
Telephone: 915-841-9154
Contact Name: Adrian Ordonez
Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Woodland Hills Mall is excited to host Beauty Week, which is a unique way for the people in Tulsa to experience all the beauty that Woodland Hills Mall has to offer.  Participating retailers...

Cost: Free and open to the community

Where:
Woodland Hills Mall
7021 S Memorial Dr.
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Telephone: 713-224-9115
Contact Name: Woodland Hills Mall

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Turkey Mountain
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Tulsa, OK  74132
View map »


Sponsor: river parks
Telephone: 918-596-2008
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
Website »

More information

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Cost: 10

Where:
Spread throughout Metro Tulsa
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Sponsor: Pella Windows of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-663-5820
Website »

More information

Experience the sites, sounds and smells of Greece!  The best lil stop in OPA!homa - just off route 66. Live music, dancing, kids zone, Greek food and drink, delectable baked goods, Greek...

Cost: Adults $5/Kids Free

Where:
13th & Guthrie Ave
1222 S. Guthrie Ave

Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Greek Festival
Telephone: 918-583-2082
Contact Name: Tonya Boone
Website »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

Cost: FREE

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Central Park Community Center
1500 South Main Street
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 918-259-8437
Contact Name: Central Park Community Center

More information

Join us for our second annual Food Truck Frenzy on September 21, from 4-8 p.m., and taste a variety of delicious cuisines from food trucks located in our riverfront backyard. Families can enjoy...

Cost: Adults $17.95, Children 3yrs-12yrs $13.95 Military and Seniors(62+) $13.95

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Dr
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Telephone: 918-528-1507
Contact Name: Liz Medrano
Website »

More information

Fundraising concert featuring popular Christian rock band Sanctus Real benefiting Circle of Care's three programs: state-wide foster care, transitional living for single mothers with children...

Cost: 20.00

Where:
Venue 68
6910 S. 101st E. Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74134
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Sponsor: Circle of Care
Telephone: 405-215-1400
Contact Name: Sarah Steffes
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Benefiting the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Broken Arrow Cosplay contest and silent auction. Fan made 1966 Batmobile on display. Food provided by Charlies Chicken, Panera and drinks...

Cost: $10, 12 and under FREE

Where:
1400 W. Washington St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Telephone: 918-406-9341
Contact Name: Sean Henry
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Circle of Care and popular Christian Rock band Sanctus Real are teaming up on September 21, 2019, to raise funds for Circle of Care’s three nonprofit programs. Band member...

Cost: Tickets start at $20

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church's Venue 68
6910 S. 101 E. Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74133
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America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
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Get moved with Tulsa Ballet! Experience incredible works from the most in-demand choreographers in the world at Creations in Studio K. Tickets start at $25. Read all about the exciting pieces...

Cost: $25 - above

Where:
Tulsa Ballet - Studio K
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
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Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Contact Name: Dan Meagher
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Young and old alike will love the cherished story of Alice and her friends performed through original and exciting dance choreography! "Project Alice" is based on Lewis Carroll's...

Cost: 15-20

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Portico Dance Theatre
Telephone: 918-321-0682
Contact Name: Linda Davis
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Young and old alike will love the cherished story of Alice and her friends performed through original and exciting dance choreography!"Project Alice" is based on Lewis Carroll's “Alice's...

Cost: 15-20

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Portico Dance Theatre
Telephone: 918-321-0682
Contact Name: Linda Davis
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Whether you prefer Borg nanoprobes to Midichlorians, the Justice League to the Avengers, or Terminators to Daleks, don't let anyone force you into boldly going where no one has gone...

Cost: $8.00 ($4.00 for children under 12)

Where:
pH Community House
306 S Phoenix Ave
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Laughing Matter Improv
Contact Name: Jerry Henderson
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In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
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Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
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Where:
Veterans Park
1811 S Boulder Park Dr
Tulsa, OK
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Get wined and dined at the first annual Tulsa Beer & Wine Festival. Stroll through our landscape gardens and treat your taste buds to exquisite food pairings with local and national craft...

Cost: TBD

Where:
Gathering Place Great Lawn
2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
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