Skip to content

First homeless task force meets, discusses need for resource hub

Compiling Canadian County resources to be found on the City of Yukon’s website was discussed by Yukon’s Homeless Task Force during their first meeting Feb. 12.
The page of local nonprofits, churches, clinics and more that serve homeless people could be shared via local organizations’ social media pages.
“Knowing what we do have to offer, I think, is huge for our task force to figure out — where can we get this stuff and where is a location,” said Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby.
Selby asked Yukon Police Department officers to look for people experiencing homelessness Feb. 7, and they reported none were located. Officers checked four locations, where homeless people have been previously known to reside before the state’s record siberian weather arrived Feb. 13.
The task force discussed the importance of conducting a Point in Time Count in Yukon. A PIT is an annual census of a city’s homeless population on one day.
Aside from local nonprofits, Yukon Public Schools is the only organization that records area homeless children.
D’Lynne McDaniel, director of community engagement for YPS, said the district collects data on students experiencing homelessness by talking to them, as well as looking at enrollment numbers. She said this school year’s data will likely be skewed, as students have not consistently been in the classroom, due to the pandemic.
Sherri Rogers, director of local nonprofit Manna Pantry, said she has an “unhoused” category within her client intake system. Unhoused can be street homeless, couch homeless, or living anywhere that is not a permanent residence.
Couch homeless means a person typically resides in a home that is not their own for a brief period of time before moving to another residence. Rogers said she currently has 26 clients.
Deputy Fire Chief Kyle Trumbly said the Yukon Fire Department does not specifically categorize responses to homeless people in their record system. The Yukon Police Department does not either.
Trumbly said his department could flag the four locations where homeless people reside in the system, however, it would require a consistent basis.
“Sometimes they’ll give us an address that may not be their address of residency, they’re just giving it to us for documentation,” said Trumbly. “It’s kind of a slippery slope.”
The task force also discussed the future possibility of a shelter in Yukon. Selby said there would need to be social workers involved to get people driver’s licenses and other required certification for jobs, as well as securing affordable housing for them.
“The quicker you can get somebody off the streets, the better chance you have of them staying,” Selby said, regarding housing homeless people.
McDaniel said Goodwill of Central Oklahoma could partner with agencies in Yukon to bring in job opportunities for people experiencing homelessness. The company has a program that provides job training to people who have been incarcerated, she said.
Other representatives present at the meeting included nonprofit Youth and Family Services, Inc. of El Reno; Yukon nonprofit Compassionate Hands; Grace Church Episcopal; Cardinal Point, which is El Reno’s Family Justice Center; and Yukon police.
The task force invites providers who serve homeless people throughout Canadian County to join their meetings, which take place at 10 a.m. every Friday. Those interested in joining may email the Review at hhumphrey@theyukonreview.com.

Leave a Comment