TPS board member spends four days living on streets to learn about student homelessness

TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa Public Schools board member wrapped up four days acting undercover as a homeless person Monday in the area after learning several local students were experiencing homelessness.

Jerry Griffin says he wanted to see what it’s like firsthand and try to solve the problem after learning that between five and 600 students are homeless.

Griffin put on some old clothes and left his phone and money behind for three nights and four days while pretending to be homeless.

He says he slept on the street his first night, literally laying on the concrete.

He spent the next two nights staying in the shelter at the John 3:16 Mission.

Griffin says during the four days, he talked to a few children, but no many, concluding that he thinks most homeless students aren’t living on the streets, but likely living in cars, motels or with friends and relatives.

Griffin says he sees the homeless problem as something that’s up to the community -- nonprofits, churches -- working one-on-one with families to help with the student homelessness problem. He says he doesn’t see it as something that the district can fix.