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Duncan homeless shelter in danger of closing

[Source KSWO] [Source KSWO]

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)---A homeless shelter in Duncan is in danger of shutting down.

"Sought Out Ministries" has only been open since last April, but the fire department says they are not operating under up-to-date building codes, and the shelter is running out of time to make the needed changes.

22-year-old Sarah Salazar and her family have been staying at Sought Out Ministries homeless shelter since November.

They found the shelter after experiencing a rough time in Chickasha.

With the threat of the shelter closing, Salazar fears her family will be without a home.

"I really would be without absolutely nothing at this point,” said Salazar. “Here everybody is like family more than my own family."

Last May, the shelter received a temporary permit from the Duncan Community Development Department.

That permit allowed them time to make improvements to the facilities, such as installing emergency push bars, exit lights, and smoke alarms.

Founder of the shelter, Roy Smith, said they haven't been able to make proper upgrades to the facility simply because of their love for people.

"It's really hard to turn people down,” said Smith. “We have just come out of a cold spell. It's hard to say no to people when it's cold outside and that was a mistake on our part and honestly, that's why we need the help."

February 16th will be the second inspection that will determine if they will receive a full certificate to remain open.

Duncan Community Development said it's unlikely they will force them to shut down unless they have made no progress at all.

Smith said he is hopeful the progress they've made on the building will sustain them.

Now, they are reaching out to the community.

"We are basically broke on our part,” said Smith. “We are depending on others and I’m not real good at depending on others and asking for help. But if we continue on it's just really simple we are going to need to have some help."

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