Food & Shelter considered to operate temporary warming shelter

Following direction provided to City staff, an item to consider Food & Shelter – a local nonprofit dedicated to providing basic human needs – to operate a temporary warming shelter will be placed on the agenda of the Oct. 11 regular meeting of the Norman City Council.

The item will allow City Council to consider a contract with Food & Shelter to operate a temporary warming shelter from early November to March 2023 at the City-owned facility located at James Garner Avenue and West Gray Street. Note that this facility is still proposed to house an arts collective company, pending forward movement on renovation efforts, which may occur after March 2023.

Under the contract for consideration that will be presented to City Council, Food & Shelter will oversee all services and operations of the shelter while also providing security. The shelter will be low-barrier, designed to serve the most vulnerable individuals, and complement the existing family shelter services offered through the Salvation Army. The City of Norman will be responsible for maintenance and utility costs.

Beginning December 2019, the City of Norman facilitated the administration and management of a warming shelter for the community through Emergency Services Grants. Those grants expired and the City of Norman sought human services professionals to operate a warming shelter after considerable evaluation through public meeting dialogue.

The contract would be approved at a cost of $305,298 from the City’s General Fund.