Page 1


Table of Contents At the Movies with Marcos Film 3

The State of Homelessness Statistics 8

Game Day Style Fashion 12

Meet James

Vendor Highlight 24

Hoboscope Fun 30

Contact Director: ranya@thecurbsidechronicle.org Media: kcrocker@homelessalliance.org 1724 NW 4th St. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73106 405-415-8425

Find Us Online www.thecurbsidechronicle.org facebook.com/CurbsideOKC twitter.com/CurbsideOKC instagram.com/CurbsideOKC The Curbside Chronicle is a program of the Homeless Alliance

Printed locally at Paragon Press in Oklahoma City


At the Movies

s o c r a M with

by Marcos Powell, former Curbside vendor

Marcos is a former vendor for The Curbside Chronicle. During his time with Curbside, Marcos transitioned into housing and onto further employment. In his spare time, Marcos enjoys contributing articles about his love for cinema.

Fantasy is all about imagination – swords and sorcery, dungeons and dragons, heroes and damsels in distress. Fantasy films often involve magic or supernatural elements that could never happen in real life, which is why their stories are so captivating. Often times, people confuse Fantasy films with Science Fiction. The difference between Fantasy and Science Fiction films is the element of science. Science Fiction films base their stories on some degree of scientific truth, in which there is the faint possibility of it happening one day. But Fantasy is purely imaginative and often takes us to other worlds that only exist in our minds. I saw my first Fantasy film when I was in elementary school and it changed the way I viewed the world around me. It inspired me to dream of other types of worlds and create my own kingdoms in my mind. Fantasy films have the power to unleash our wildest dreams. While we know they aren’t reality, we can’t help but long for them to be. Many people think Fantasy films are just for kids, but shows like Game of Thrones rising to popularity show that Fantasy can be geared towards adults too. While I’m a big fan of modern-day Fantasy films, I think it is important to look back at some of the great Fantasy films of the past. It’s incredible to see how far we’ve come with special effects and design in the realm of Fantasy, but paying homage to the great originals is important. So if you like to escape from reality every now and then, here are some of my favorite Fantasy films you can get lost in.

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The Beastmaster | 1982 Dar was born with the ability to telepathically communicate with animals. But when an evil sorcerer destroys his village, Dar takes it upon himself to avenge his people. With the help of an eagle, a pair of ferrets, and a black tiger, Dar sets out to stop the sorcerer. Due to its success, Beastmaster spawned into a trilogy and then a TV series. All of the movies used live animals on set. In fact, the black tiger was really a regular striped tiger that they dyed black for the movie. The dye kept rubbing off throughout filming, and if you look closely, you can see the tiger’s true color in some scenes. Beastmaster was one of the first Fantasy films that I saw as a kid. And it remains one of my favorites. I mean, who doesn’t want to be able to communicate with animals?

Clash of the Titans | 1981 Clash of the Titans tells the Greek mythological story of Perseus and his quest to save Princess Andromeda. Perseus, son of the god Zeus, has angered the goddess Thetis and must now suffer the consequences to win back his bride. In this grand romantic adventure, Perseus faces mythical beasts like the Kraken and Medusa to save the woman he loves. Luckily, his father Zeus is there to help him along the way. Clash of the Titans has some outstanding special effects for when it was produced and a great cast. Sir Laurence Olivier plays Zeus and is a legendary actor. Also, Aphrodite is played by the iconic Ursula Andress, the original Bond girl from the first James Bond film Dr. No. Many Fantasy films are renditions of famous Greek myths, but Clash of the Titans is by far my favorite. Clash of the Titans inspired a recent remake in 2010 and sequel in 2012, but as always, I suggest starting with the original. 4


The Sword and the Sorcerer | 1982 Talk about one of the coolest swords in Fantasy. The three-bladed sword from The Sword and the Sorcerer was one of my favorites growing up. It had the ability to hurl two of its blades at your enemy with the push of a button and had a dagger hidden in its handle. I can remember running around pretending to battle people with my three-bladed sword as a kid. I would imagine myself as Talon, fighting to reclaim my royal heritage against an evil sorcerer. Talon, who has been working as a mercenary knight, learns that he is actually a prince. But his kingdom has been taken over by an evil sorcerer. Talon must use his swordsmanship to win back his seat on the throne. In addition to being full of action, the movie is also quite hilarious.

Krull | 1983 Krull has become a cult classic for the way it blends the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres. While taking place in outer space, the story also includes knights, swords, castles, and mythical beasts. The planet Krull has been invaded by the evil monster called the Beast and his dangerous army of Slayers. Prince Colwyn is set to marry Princess Lyssa and unite their kingdoms, but during the wedding, Lyssa is kidnapped. Prince Colwyn must rescue her from the Black Fortress where the Beast has her hidden. The only problem is that the Black Fortress changes location every sunrise. Prince Colwyn must partner with a motley crew, including a cyclops and a cowardly magician to save his love and his planet. Armed with one of my favorite fantasy weapons, a five-blade throwing star called the Glaive, he sets out to rescue his bride. And if you pay attention, you might recognize actors Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane in some of their earliest screen roles. Krull is so unique in its style that it’s a must-see Fantasy film.


Excalibur | 1981 There are many famous swords in the realm of Fantasy, from Conan the Barbarian’s blade to Glamdring in Lord of the Rings. But no sword can compare to the prestige of Excalibur. Excalibur is perhaps the most iconic sword and sorcery story. The film tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the establishing of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. With timeless characters like Merlin the wizard, Sir Lancelot, and Guinevere, the film is an excellent rendition of the age-old tale. Excalibur was shot entirely in Ireland and employed Irish actors and crew, making it an incredibly impactful film in Irish cinematography. In fact, Excalibur helped launch the careers of Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, and Helen Mirren. As one of the most infamous stories of all time, Excalibur is a mandatory watch.

The Neverending Story | 1984 The Neverending Story is like a dream come true. When you read a Fantasy novel, you can put yourself in the story and envision yourself there. While most of the time this is just wishful thinking, in The Neverending Story it becomes reality. Bastian is a young boy who is bullied at school. When he gets introduced to a magical book, he is suddenly transported into the pages of the very story he is reading. He must team up with the hero Atreyu to save the land of Fantasia and its princess from destruction. The Neverending Story is incredibly original and filled with some of the most memorable creatures in cimena history. And the same actor, Alan Oppenheimer, voices the narrator, Falkor, Gmork, and Rockbiter in the film. There are two sequels to the film, The Next Chapter and Escape from Fantasia. 6


Jason and the Argonauts | 1963 Another film adaptation of Greek mythology, Jason and the Argonauts tells the story of Jason and his quest for the Golden Fleece. After 20 years away, Jason returns to Thessaly to claim his throne as king. But in order to do so, Jason must first find the magical Golden Fleece. With the help of Hercules and the goddess Hera, Jason sets out to battle against harpies, Talos, the Hydra, and a skeleton army. The special effects in this movie are still noted as incredible for its time period, with all of the mythical beasts in the movie created in part using stop motion animation. The skeleton battle took over four months to produce, though the scene lasts less than three minutes. This attention to detail in the imagery throughout the movie is what makes it so enjoyable.

Dragonslayer | 1981 A king has made a deal with a dragon where he sacrifices girls in exchange for protection of his kingdom. However, when the king’s own daughter volunteers to be next to die, the king enlists the help of a wizard’s apprentice to slay the dragon and rescue the princess. I’ve seen my share of dragon movies, but there has never been a dragon as incredible as the one in this. And remember, this was a time before CGI had fully developed. It looks, moves, and sounds like I would imagine a dragon to be. Draglonslayer was nominated for an Academy Award for Visual Effects and for Original Music Score.


BY THE NUMBERS

HOMELESSNESS source: Oklahoma City Planning Department, Housing & Community Development Division. (2016), Point-in-Time. design by: Whitley O'Connor

8


IN OKC


10


GAME DAY STYLE photos by Geovanny De Leon

12


No matter what team you root for this season, do so with style. The Curbside Chronicle crew has picked out some of the comfiest, coolest game day tees of the season. Modeled by a few of your favorite Curbside vendors, these local shirts are sure to be a touchdown at your next tailgate. So whether you’re cheering from the sidelines or your sofa, root for your team while looking your best!

OKLA Tee, $26, Shop Good Grey OK Hat, $56.97, Blue Seven Big Mouth The Beast Drink Kooler, $19.97, Blue Seven


O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A Our chant rolls on and on! Thousands strong Join heart and song In alma mater's praise Of campus beautiful by day and night Of colors proudly gleaming red and white 'Neath a western sky OU's chant will never die. Live on University!

Sooners Football Tee, $26, Shop Good

RHONDA

sells at NW 39th and May Ave. 14


Proud and immortal Bright shines your name Oklahoma State We herald your fame Ever you'll find us Loyal and true To our alma mater O-S-U

Pistol Pete Tee, $34.97, Blue Seven

SUNSHINE

sells at Leadership Square


Kevin

sells at First National Building

SOONER

BOOMER

Distressed OU Tee, $34.97, Blue Seven Boomer Sooner Tee, $32.97, Blue Seven Burgundy OK Hat, $54.97, Blue Seven 16


Robert

sells at Paseo Arts District

PISTOLS

FIRING OSU State Tee, $26, Shop Good


Devante

sells at OK County Courthouse

Cowboy Crew Sweatshirt, $54.97, Blue Seven Grey OK Hat, $56.97, Blue Seven

Pistols Firing Tee, $26, Shop Good Orange 25oz Swell Bottle, $46.97, Blue Seven Tailgate Team Captain Tee, $29.97, Blue Seven 18


Chad

sells at NW 39th and May Ave.

OU Bedlam Boxing Tee, $26, Shop Good Tailgate Team Captain Tee, $29.97, Blue Seven Ruby 17oz Swell Bottle, $42.97, Blue Seven


TOUCHDOWN!

TOUCHDOWN

TOUCHDOWN! O State Baseball Tee, $32, Shop Good Bison Hat, $54.97, Blue Seven 20

TOUCHD


N!

TOUCHDOWN!

DOWN!


22


“

405.473.8840

jmillercarpentry.com


Meet James compiled by Ranya O’Connor | photos by Sarah Powers

James sells The Curbside Chronicle at the corner of Meridian Ave. and I-40 in Oklahoma City. On the following pages, he talks about battling addiction, the important role faith plays in his life, and how Curbside has helped him gain acceptance after years of social rejection. James also shares his experiences operating a small tent community and why he wants to see local government support legal tent cities for Oklahoma City’s homeless. 24


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Where are you from? I grew up in Bethany, Oklahoma. Right by Lake Overholser. I caught crawdads and fished with my grandpa out there. My grandpa was my best friend. He was like a dad. He taught us how to ride motorcycles, go fishing, and shoot guns. He used to race cars at Taft stadium. He knew we didn’t have a dad and my brother and I were the only boys, so he catered to us.

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He had diabetes and had to have his legs cut off. He was in the service. He was just a real strong person. He was my mentor and best friend. It was real challenging for me when he died. I still feel like he’s around though. And maybe I’m just dreaming, but either way, it’s a comfort to me.

What was your childhood like? Well, my mom was married seven times. I respected [her husbands] and there were several that I liked, but that didn’t mean that I agreed with it. One of them was a cop. One was a pharmacist that overdosed when I was in 5th grade. We never would accept them as a father-like figure, but we’d respect them as men.

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Did you like school as a kid? No, I just went as a social event. I felt like I already knew everything because of my rebellious attitude. When somebody would try to teach me something, I thought they were telling me what to do. They were really just trying to help me. But it was a struggle for me. I went to 8th grade and then dropped out.

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What did you do after you dropped out? I started working for a landscaping company and worked there until I was 18. I had a real cool job. I cleared brush. I filled up swimming pools and turned them into decorative gardens. I planted flowers and trees. I mowed lawns for people. I really enjoyed it.

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Then I went to work for Delta Surveying & Engineering in Bethany. I was a state land surveyor for 13 years. I was a part of designing the very road that I live on right now. I worked on the realignment of I-40 and the Kirkpatrick alignment. I wasn’t able to finish working on the Kirkpatrick Turnpike because of my addiction though.

You had an addiction? I started drinking when I was 12 years old. I was an alcoholic by 8th grade. It made me grow up too fast. It robbed my childhood. I remember losing my imagination when I started drinking. I immediately stopped playing with toys and being creative.

Curbside has been significant in my life... Now, I’ve got dignity when I wake up.


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Why did you start drinking at such a young age? Everybody in my family drinks. But if you ask them if they have a problem, they’d say, “No.” You’d say, “When’d you have your last drink?” They’d say, “This morning.” So I mean, we live in a family of denial.

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It took me a long time to realize that I had a problem. I was doing what everyone else around me was doing. I was drinking a 12-pack a night, and I’d drink a beer in the morning on the way to work. I was what we call a functioning alcoholic. But obviously that’s just a man’s definition. There’s really no such thing as that. I wasn’t until I went to prison that I really got sober and put my life back together.

How did you end up in prison? I went to prison for manufacturing methamphetamine. I never cooked a batch all the way through by myself. I was just in charge of getting red phosphorous off of matches. We used to buy matches and slice off the sandpaper part of the matchbook. We’d just throw the rest of it away; we just wanted that one little strip. That was my part. And I got a percentage for letting them cook at my house. I got 25%. I wouldn’t ever take the cash. I’d just trade it for the substance. I feel very responsible for some of our meth problem in Oklahoma City. That’s why I try to give back in my life now. When I think of the substances I put on the street and my friends out there struggling, it ain’t their fault. It challenges my emotions and really hurts. I want to be recognized for being a good person not for the mistakes I made.

26

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How did you get caught? When you cook meth, it omits a gas that smells real strong. Generally, I would watch the weather and when the wind was blowing in the right direction, it would all go to an empty parking lot behind my house. But my addiction overruled my judgment that night and we didn’t pay attention to the weather. The neighbors smelt it. They thought there was a gas leak and called the police. But when the police showed up, they knew what was going on.

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How did you get involved with meth? I got real bad into drugs right after my wife and I got divorced. We were married for about seven years. We had a son and a daughter. I was broken for disappointing my kids. Mentally, meth would block out the pain enough that I could continue on. It gave me a coping method.

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The divorce was heartbreaking because I grew up without a dad. And I never in my life planned on having kids and then not being a dad to them. My son and me really struggle with our relationship now. He doesn’t wanna call me dad. And I never called my dad “dad” either. I always called him “Alan,” and I remember thinking just how tacky that was.

What would you like other people struggling with addiction to know? Get away from it. I lost about everything in my life. It’s challenged me with my most important relationships. It’s just taken so much. And then to repair all that you’ve broken. If it wasn’t for the Holy Spirit, I couldn’t do it.

“That’s my guardian angel that watches over our campsite. He’s armed with a Bible and a paintball gun.”


“This is my main tent and our kitchen. I’ve got a bed and a desk inside for studying.”

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Have you always been religious? I’ve always known God was there. But to hear His voice, it’s just something you cannot fathom. When I went to prison, I read the Bible and it was overwhelming. I kept thinking I’d get to a point where it says, “happily ever after,” but it doesn’t hardly say that. That’s why you’ve got to have faith.

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And today, I’m the homeless preacher. People even call me “Preacher.” I like to minister to the drug addicts and prostitutes – anybody who can’t go to a sanctuary because they feel unwelcome or feel like they don’t have a connection to Christ. I’m for the underdog in this world. I maybe can’t pull you out of this, but I can go through this with you. That’s why I started 420 Ministry.

What is 420 Ministry? I named it 420 Ministry because on 4/19 our city was bombed, and on 4/20 we bombed back with love and compassion… I run a tent community in Oklahoma City. I average 9 people a night and have had up to 21. One day, I got this voice in my head that said, “Build a fort.” And I thought, “I love forts.” I had a fort in my backyard as a kid. And so, I built a fort. We have tents, canopies, a grill, and a little sanctuary where I host church every Saturday at 10:30. I’ve got backpacks and clothes. I make sure everybody eats every night. Our two rules are – don’t steal and don’t pose a threat. Have manners and don’t disrespect.

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What role does faith play in your life? It gives me a purpose and inspiration. It rebuilds everything that I’ve ever lost. I couldn’t rebuild it on my own. But with the Lord, I’m repairing everything that I ever destroyed.

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Why did you start a tent community? People need someplace they can go to feel comfortable. They’ve experienced trauma on the streets, and not everyone feels comfortable in a shelter. They are congested and it’s hard to have any privacy. Outside, I think you have more freedom. You can look up at the stars and find serenity.

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What do you hope to accomplish with your tent community? I want Oklahoma City to start its own tent city with the permission of our local government. I want people to see the good they can do. A lot of other states have city-sanctioned tent cities. It would help to have a space where people can legally be at night instead of having to hide or trespass to find shelter. And if they knew they weren’t trespassing, it would calm them down. When you’re trespassing, you have to sleep with one eye open. You can never get comfortable or relax. It is a very economical way to live while you work on getting your life back together. And tent cities can also provide safety for the homeless. A lot of tent cities have a security guard that watches over at night. I’d love for Oklahoma City to have something like this for the people sleeping outside at night.


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What’s been one of the hardest things you’ve experienced while homeless? I got frostbite on my feet one winter. It was overwhelmingly cold and my tent wasn’t set up properly. I slept outside and it rained and nearly froze me to the ground. I woke up the next day and thought that there was sand in my shoes. But really, it was my feet froze so hard. It felt like sandpaper rubbing.

q a

What do you wish people knew about homelessness? That we’re just the same as them. We’re all breathing oxygen. We’ve all gotten a break in life at some point. Maybe you got a job that you weren’t really qualified for because of the way you carried yourself or because of a personal contact. Everybody’s gotten a break at some point. And that’s all you’re looking for when you’re homeless – that opportunity. You’re just waiting for someone to give you a chance to prove yourself. And when someone else believes in you, then you can make it. And that’s what Curbside does for me.

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What is it like being a Curbside vendor? Curbside has been significant in my life. Just being accepted back into society and having fellowship with others. This is my first job since 2012 when I got out of prison. I was tired of being rejected because of my background. Then Curbside came along and taught me public relations and advocacy. I can bridge communication back to the public where they can accept me but maybe they wouldn’t have accepted another homeless guy. My customers are overwhelming. They have a heart for helping people that want to help themselves. The public is what encourages me. As soon as someone buys a Curbside, it lets me know the public also views this as a job and my occupation. I used to squeegee windows on the corner before I knew about Curbside. I used to think that I could never get back into society or be productive again. I always tried to hide my homelessness. Now, I’ve got dignity when I wake up.


Hoboscope

Mr. Mysterio is not a licensed astrologer, a trained sherpa, or an adopted Doobie Brother. You can follow Mr. Mysterio on Twitter @MrMysterio.

by Mr. Mysterio

VIRGO

LIBRA

SCORPIO

If you’re like me, Virgo–and I’ve always had the feeling that you are like me– you have a hard time talking about your plans. It’s like you think they won’t happen if you say them out loud. That’s just superstition (said the horoscope) and this week, I think it’s holding you back. Tell people what you want this week. Tell them what you hope. Tell them what you plan to do to get there. Let me know if that doesn’t get you one step closer.

I nearly died this morning, Libra. One second, I’m stepping into the tub, the next, I’m lying on my back staring at the ceiling with a shower curtain clutched in my hand and little plastic curtainrod rings falling on me. Now I feel so vulnerable. Like even the mundane is out to get me. You’ve got to step boldly into the showers of life, Libra. Sure, you could slip, but better to slip than to never shower at all.

In Spanish, a common phrase for giving birth is “dàr a luz” which literally translates as “to give to light”. You’ve got some great ideas that you’ve been… well…gestating in that brain of yours, Scorpio. And you aren’t doing us any favors by keeping them out of the light of day. I think this might be the week to give light to something new.

SAGITTARIUS

CAPRICORN

AQUARIUS

I like the subways. The way the wind blows through before the train blasts in. The rickety racket and the constant reminders to stand clear of the ever-closing doors. Subways are amazing. But they’re even better when you have a map. You may know how you’re getting there, Sagittarius, but if you don’t know which way to go, your exciting trip is going to turn into a long, boring ride. Before you hop on your next train, check the map on the wall and see if this one is going anywhere you want to be.

In probability theory, the law of large numbers says that the larger the sample taken, the closer it will be to the average. For instance, a coin flip is a fifty-fifty probability. But if you flip a coin four times, you may get 3 heads and 1 tails or even 4 tails. However, if you flip that coin forty times, you’ll be a lot closer to half and half. If you feel like you keep coming up tails this week, Capricorn, you just need to keep flipping.

Ever since I slipped getting into the shower this morning, I just feel this crazy overwhelming sense of gratitude for being alive. I know it seems like a small thing, but it’s a reminder that I’m still here. And that I can choose to be more present. But you don’t need a scare in order to be grateful, Aquarius. You can appreciate life even with two feet planted firmly on the bathmat.

30


PISCES

ARIES

TAURUS

In 1917 Converse rolled out the All-Star. A simple sport-sneaker made to appeal to the basketball shoe market. Nearly 100 years later, the Converse All-Star is still around. But maybe not so often for it’s intended audience. It’s a reminder, Pisces, that your work may not always hit the intended target, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t built to last.

When the seasons start to change, I always feel just a little nostalgic for times gone by. Remembering other Septembers that seem so much less complicated and more hopeful than this one. But I don’t think it’s true, Aries. I think we need to say “no” to “nostalgia”. In fact, I may have a bumper sticker printed up to that effect. Today can have just as much promise and hope as any old day-gone-by. Start living your good old days now.

So I keep a notebook in the front-side pocket of my astrologer’s robe. Or wait, is it the rear-left pocket. Hmmm… not there. Maybe the upper-admiral’s pocket? The center secret pocket? Why do these robes have so many pockets? Anyway, I wrote down your future on the front page of that notebook. Keep an eye out for it. It’s green.

GEMINI

CANCER

LEO

I like the Doobie Brothers song “Listen to the Music” not because I find it particularly moving or musically interesting. Mostly I like it because it’s a song that comes with instructions. Just listen to the music. You’re already doing it right! This week, Gemini, you can stop worrying about getting it all wrong. Just take it in. You can’t mess this up.

Right foot red, Cancer! Now left hand yellow. Now see if you can get your right foot on a blue…and…crash! Twister is hard. You’ve been trying to follow everybody else’s instructions thinking you can stay upright. But if you don’t take some initiative and put your feet where you know they need to go, you’re going to end up with your face on a red. Stop the spinner, Cancer. Pick your own position.

In 1953 Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary became the first two people to reach the peak of Mount Everest. I’ve always imagined the two of them trudging through the blistering wind and blinding snow. Alone together. But that wasn’t quite it. They were two of a team. In fact, John Hunt, who led the Everest expedition climbed ahead just to leave supplies in their path. Who do you have to thank for your achievements this week, Leo? Who made sure you could reach those heights? Give a little credit.


Help us employ the homeless! The Curbside Chronicle needs your help! Cut along the black lines and keep these cards in your car to hand out to individuals who could use a hand. Together we can employ and empower OKC’s homeless!

The Curbside Chronicle - Issue 20  
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