The Norman Transcript

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October 14, 2013

Shelter director shares vision

NORMAN — The phones at Food and Shelter never stop ringing. The front door never seems to fully stay closed either. It’s a constant struggle for the employees to keep up with the comings and going of clients.

Each call that comes to the agency and each person that walks in is always treated with respect and dignity — something that Food and Shelter always strives to provide for those they serve.

Executive Director April Doshier sees on a daily basis what being homeless can do not only to a person’s attitude on life, but their general well being. So, with that in mind, Doshier is hoping to find

forever homes for the chronically homeless in Norman by the end of 2014.

“That totals about 125 men and women. Honestly, we know we can’t do that on our own,” Doshier said. “All of the agencies in town that provide housing services, Community Action, Salvation Army, Bridges, East Main Place, have joined one team and we are going to be doing community awareness and team building and community building with one vision and one voice.”

Steps have been put into place by these Norman housing services in order to make the goal more attainable, Doshier said.

“First is, as a community of people who believe that this is the right thing to do, not just because Jesus tells us it’s the right thing to do, but we as a blessed community should not have people living on the streets. We have to have one vision and one voice,” Doshier said. “The second thing, and this is probably the most important key to this, is that we need to be able to build skills and resources around people who have struggled with these addictions and mental illness and bad choices for so long. If these folks could tackle these issues on their own, they wouldn’t be homeless, they wouldn’t be struggling. They really need a network of people to stand with them and guide them through this process.”

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