The Problem

The Sanctuary day shelter continues to see high demand for services in Oklahoma City,  and even more so following the pandemic and battling a rise in inflation  It operates as a safe haven for women and children to enjoy a reprieve from the outdoors, to shower, do laundry, or to utilize the case management services offered.
Families with children compromise 17% of homelessness in Oklahoma City, and 33% of homeless people are women. They were among the first to be affected by the COVID-19 health challenges, job losses and economic hardship. Sanctuary serves the most vulnerable families who are affected by inequities every day.

Clients and staff are currently scattered between two buildings that are aging, inefficient and not designed for those who are coming from domestic abuse situations. The current building layouts and issues have significantly limited access to our programs.

Current building issues include:
  • Out-of-date heating and air system that fails during extreme weather
  • Only 3 bathrooms available, two of which are located outside of the building. Restrooms are in a state of disrepair.
  • Current building layout causes a waiting of 7 clients a week.
  • Security limitations leave volunteers, staff and clients at risk.
  • No private spaces for confidential client meetings.
  • Building was a former Mission Church and thus was not designed for homeless services


We are in urgent need of a new, consolidated facility to improve shelter accommodations, increase access to supportive services, and serve more families each year. The need to help more clients is larger than what the current building can provide. The repairs needed are numerous. After building and ground assessments were concluded, it was determined that rebuilding the facility would sustain better operations for the future of Sanctuary Women’s Development Centers.
Woman asleep on pew
messy closet at Sanctuary

“If we cannot serve in a space that is not crumbling and falling apart, how can we expect the women not to feel they are crumbling and falling apart – that they are worth more?”

Theresa Flannery

Senior Director of Social Services