We know finding the resources you need can be a dizzying and frustrating experience. We are gathering links and services here for you. If you know of other resources, please email us at email@example.com and we’ll add it to the site. Check back often as we try to keep the information as up-to-date as possible.
The most important thing to do when you need help is to seek help. During times of stress, we often shut down and withdraw as a coping mechanism. Research has shown this actually heightens anxiety and can lead to even greater withdrawal. Reach out to the people and places that can help you during this challenging time. For immediate help in Tulsa, call the 211 line to get referrals to the resources you need or search for resources on their site. For a good overview of everything related to COVID in Tulsa, including volunteer opportunities and reliable information, check out the United Way. For a multilingual resource on the latest updates and rules governing the city, go to the City of Tulsa FAQ page.
The resources listed below are based on our best knowledge at the moment and testing them ourselves when possible. Please be patient; all sectors remain under enormous demand and often fail to keep up with volume. If a site or number is not responding, keep trying.
Unemployment Benefits in Oklahoma
Oklahoma has waived the waiting period to apply for benefits, so if you suffer a lay-off or furlough, you can apply immediately.
Also, the work search requirement to file has also been waived. When filing for weekly claims, the system will ask if the work search requirement has been met. Answer “Yes.” When asked for a reason for unemployment (separation), choose “lack of work.”
Due to demand, the debit cards the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) currently issues are generic and contain no state logos. They are valid as long as they come from the OESC.
Do not use the back button on your browser when filing a claim or you will need to begin over.
We believe the best place to start your claim is at https://oesc.ok.gov/ Please be aware that searching for benefits will take you to a variety of Oklahoma government sites, but this site offers the best place to start and has a chat function to help answer questions.
If you do not have internet access, you can call 800.555.1554. Plan on lengthy wait times.
If your job loss also caused a loss of health insurance, you can receive new coverage immediately at the health marketplace. Because you have suffered a loss of coverage due to your job status, you do not need to wait for the normal enrollment window.
Help for Your Business
If you are a Tulsa business, the Tulsa Responds program is the place to start at https://www.tulsaresponds.org/. This partnership began with McKenna Raley, a Tulsan and current student at Duke University, as a resource for Tulsans to find ways to support their local businesses and organizations, through donations or participating in their adapted offerings.
This initiative caught the attention of Atento Capital and the George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF), who, in partnership with the Tulsa Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) expanded McKenna’s site to help ensure that local businesses and nonprofits are able to act quickly to take advantage of COVID-19 financial assistance packages. The site offers hands-on support and works to update resources in real-time.
Other resources for support of your small business have been overwhelmed. We suggest you call your bank if you have a current line of credit or account. Some banks are well-staffed to take advantage of Small Business Administration (SBA) programs.
The SBA site at https://www.sba.gov/ will give an overview of all programs being offered and has online applications. The SBA is having difficulty delivering funds even when applications are approved, so be prepared to check in often on the status of your monies.
Credit and Bill Crunch
If you are having difficulty paying bills and loans, we recommend working directly with companies. Many have special areas on their websites to answer questions and apply for relief. Call support directly and explore what options are available.
Let the company know your situation and what you can realistically pay. Ask if they have 30-day deferrals or other programs to get you through the next few months.
Be proactive and let companies know you will try to keep up the best you can rather than simply not paying or ignoring notices.
If you are a renter in Tulsa, no eviction orders can be executed while the courts are currently closed. If you receive eviction paperwork, call the number listed to see if your court date will actually be in session.
The paperwork is not an order of eviction. You do not have to move. Tulsa County currently has a moratorium on evictions. Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith said if you get an eviction or foreclosure notice, don’t move out until you are told to do so by a court or law enforcement official.
You can also take advantage of the Early Settlement Mediation Program to come to an agreement with your landlord. There is no cost for the program. Call 918.596.7786 for information and to start the process.
Use the 211 line in Tulsa for other resources and support.
Hunger Free Oklahoma has a tremendous site to help you find the food resources you need at https://hungerfreeok.org/covid19
Remember that Tulsa Public Schools has meals available for all students during the week. Complete information is available: https://www.tulsaschools.org/parents-students/mealsites
Here is a link about a group of organizations that have teamed up to make sure families have the food and supplies they need. Each person is able to receive a box of food and essential supplies. The next Serving the City event will be at New Jerusalem Tulsa Church on April 17 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.
Mental Health Resources
If you are having difficulty coping with the stress of the pandemic, you are not alone, and you should feel no shame or embarrassment in seeking help.
The Mental Health Association of Oklahoma has created a great site for you to find resources: https://mhaok.org/covid19-resources
Especially look at their free virtual support groups and listen to their podcast on the latest information.
Family and Children’s services also has an excellent resource page, and you can call their crisis hotline for immediate needs at 918.744.4800.
Free Access to the Internet
If you have slow or no internet connection there are wifi spots around Tulsa where one can access the internet for free. Find free Cox wifi access points around Tulsa here. Find other free wifi access points here.
If you have a Tulsa Public Schools Student, wifi busses are being driven around the city offering free wifi access to the internet at various stops throughout the city. Here is a list of the TPS wifi bus routes and bus parking times.