Ardmore’s Grace Center moves to new building

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 6:33 PM CST
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Volunteers and workers at the Grace Center - Ardmore’s homeless resource center - moved office furniture, lockers and beds to a new building Tuesday morning.

Last January the Grace Day Center closed down for two months, citing a need to reevaluate the program.

At the time, the Grace Center’s former director told News 12 the downtown Grace Center location wasn’t big enough to house people overnight.

Since the Children of the King shelter closed as well, the only option for overnight shelter in Ardmore has been the Salvation Army Shelter, which has 25 beds.

“Right now there are no other options, which is why we’re trying so hard to get this done in time,” Heitman said.

With several community members criticizing the Grace Center’s work publicly, the shutdown in January led to a major restructuring of the Grace Center and the hiring of Linda Heitman, the center’s new director.

“For the most part, the community has been very supportive of the changes we have made,” Heitman said.

Heitman said the people who the Grace Center serves are excited about the move too.

“They are super excited to get more shelter beds,” Heitman said. “The Salvation Army does a fantastic job, but there’s a lot more homeless on the streets than that.”

In addition to the day shelter and resource center,  the new location will have an overnight shelter with 30 beds.

One man told News 12 he wasn’t able to find shelter on a recent freezing cold night because he didn’t have his ID, so he couldn’t use the salvation army shelter.

“60% of the homeless have lost their identification,” Heitman said. “And if you have lost it, it is so hard to get it back.”

Heitman said everyone who uses the shelter will have caseworkers to help solve the issues preventing them from being housed.

The downtown Grace Center location closes for good on Wednesday at noon, and the new location on 12th Avenue and Wolverton Street will reopen on December 5th.