The Norman Transcript


March 18, 2014

Twenty-two years of aiding homeless

NORMAN — Some societies are measured by how well they take care of the most vulnerable of their population.

Norman’s East Main Place, a homeless shelter open to all and in operation since 1992, has closed its doors for good. The former Central State Hospital employee dormitory was converted into 21 apartments. A separate building next door was never occupied by EMP.

The perfect storm of funding cuts and an ancient boiler that didn’t make it through the winter pushed the board’s decision to lock up. Some tears were shed by former residents who visited the facility for the final time at a reception Thursday.

Over the years, East Main Place has served more than 2,700 men, women and children. It provided a temporary place of refuge for those caught up in the web of joblessness, poverty, divorce or addiction. Residents had to take care of outstanding criminal warrants or bills and attend counseling and regular meetings.

Churches and families donated furniture for the renovated dormitory rooms. Clients could usually take it all with them when they eventually moved out to their own place.

The closing of East Main Place coincides with the formation of One Vision, One Voice, a coalition made up of various local agencies that address homelessness and the accompanying problems. The philosophy of housing first will allow the homeless to have a place to stay while tackling other problems.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • What’s causing these earthquakes?

    Much of north central Oklahoma has been experiencing about an earthquake a day this year. Statewide, there have been 2,270 small earthquakes so far compared to 2,848 in all of 2013. The question of whether oilfield “fracking” and ...

    July 19, 2014

  • Bankers and the pot biz

    It’s not a problem in Oklahoma — and probably won’t be for a long time, if ever — but bankers in states that allow medical and recreational marijuana have trouble dealing with marijuana-related businesses....

    July 18, 2014

  • Shelter petitioners face big challenge

    The debate over who should fund storm shelters for public schools has moved from politicians to the people....

    July 18, 2014

  • More jobs needed to boost economy

    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s cautious optimism about the nation’s economy was reassuring to the stock market Tuesday. Yellen said the economy continued to improve but the recovery is not yet complete....

    July 17, 2014

  • Technology fights crime

    Cellular telephones are being used to solve crimes every day. Drivers routinely call in and report bad drivers, suspected drunk drivers or suspicious activity....

    July 17, 2014