Emergency Shelter for Seniors and the Medically Fragile

Sunbeam's Emergency Shelter helps our community’s most vulnerable citizens rebuild their lives, regaining not only permanency, but their self-esteem.IMG_8139.jpg

In 2001, the Shelter opened its doors at the request of area aging service providers. Initially, the Shelter only served victims of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation (age 60 and over), but later expanded its mission to care for those made homeless as a result of a catastrophic medical condition. It is the only program of its kind in the state and is the only emergency shelter for adults in Oklahoma to hold state licensure and national accreditation.

The Shelter is a reliable alternative to a traditional homeless shelter, designed with the frail, elderly and medically needy in mind. It is staffed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and is supported by therapists from Sunbeam’s clinic-based counseling program and Senior Services staff. The maximum occupancy of the shelter is ten residents and the maximum length of stay has been set at thirty days, but can be extended if circumstance warrant.

The Shelter is available to those in need statewide. Shelter residents are referred to Sunbeam from area hospitals, DHS, mental health and social service providers, area law enforcement, homeless shelters, community resources and churches. We work closely with these organizations in order to ensure that the most vulnerable members of our community receive the highest quality of care and support. It is through these partnerships that we are able to identify individuals who have the potential to slip through the cracks of our community.

In addition to temporary housing, Sunbeam provides current shelter residents with quality case management services that help residents improve their self-esteem, reestablish ties with family, apply for housing or find non-subsidized housing, prepare for their new home, monitor medical appointments, manage prescription refills, act as a liaison with other social service providers to coordinate resources for the resident, and apply for entitlements and resources which increase the residents capacity to be self-sufficient. Shelter residents also participate in a variety of therapeutic activities and counseling through Sunbeam’s Counseling Services. By providing this level of care and assistance, we help residents with the transition out of homelessness and prevent recidivism.

Once a resident leaves the shelter, Sunbeam continues to be stable source of support. Former shelter residents receive quality, post discharge aftercare. In addition, former residents are invited back one Sunday afternoon every other month for lunch. This reunion is very important to former residents, as for some we are the closest thing they have to family. Former residents repeatedly tell us this opportunity for socialization and support is very important in maintaining their post discharge placement.

The Sunbeam Emergency Shelter helps Senior Citizens by providing assistance with:

  • Counseling - helps seniors cope with grief, separation and loss.
  • Employment - assists older adults with job searches and locating skill training.
  • Personal Care - provides clothing and personal items for seniors in need.
  • Housing - seeks opportunities for reunification with family members and/or friends, locates affordable housing, donates household items and assists in locating resources for utilities and rent.
  • Medical Assistance - helps residents locate medical treatment.
  • Advocacy - assists seniors with finding legal guidance.
  • Food - provides residents with three meals each day, snacks and nutrition education.
  • Recovery - aids victims of abuse, neglect, eviction, drug and alcohol addictions, and serious illnesses with counseling or therapy.
  • Transportation - donates bus passes to residents to help them access housing, legal help, employment or other services.

Emergency Senior Shelter Referrals

Requests for admission to the shelter are screened and approved by our staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you are aware of an older adult whose safety and well-being are at risk, please call the Shelter at (405) 528-7721.