Grace Center of Southern Oklahoma holds open houses

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The Grace Center of Southern Oklahom is a nonprofit that helps the homeless--and those at risk for homelessness-- in a five county area surrounding Carter County. Now they're letting the community know what they have to offer and how they can help.

"If you don't have a place to go, this is a place to come," said Jodie Lewis. He has a place to live, but he comes here every week to use the computers to search for work.

After coming by for a year he's been able to stay positive about his search.

"It helps to ease your mind and keep the depression off of you," he added.

75 percent of the programs at the Center help people like Lewis from becoming homeless. Those include life-skills classes, help with emergencies, and providing for everyday needs.

But last year over 300 people in neighboring counties were homeless, and 600 more young people under age 19 -- many high school students -- also had nowhere to go.

The executive director said our nation's prior recession has played a part.

"I think we're still seeing the effects of that, that started in 2008," said director Lesley Dvorak. "And I think we still see the impact of that today."

To help those in need the Center provides showers, phones and a job-ready wardrobe. For Lewis, it's the support that keeps him coming back.

"If you've got problems, we'll listen," he said. "We talk about problems too and everybody's here for you."

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