The City Sentinel

Sunbeam Family Services relocates campus after 100 years

Darla Shelden Story by on April 9, 2013 . Click on author name to view all articles by this author. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

This rendering shows the new Sunbeam Family Services Emergency Shelter for Seniors and the Medically Fragile. Rendering provided.

This rendering shows the new Sunbeam Family Services Emergency Shelter for Seniors and the Medically Fragile. Rendering provided.




By Darla Shelden
Contributing Writer


Sunbeam Family Services has recently announced the launch of their “New Home, Forever Family” Capital Campaign. The campaign is an effort to raise money for their relocation to 1411 N. Classen Blvd. in Oklahoma City. Sunbeam has raised $8.4 million of their $12 million goal.
The Capital campaign will fund 45,000 square feet of new space for counseling, early childhood education, foster care and senior services
The new location will help Sunbeam to reduce overhead expenses, provide critical services in a safe neighborhood, and provide bus stop access for the poor and working poor.


It will also provide a user-friendly space for children and aging adults, improve access for the physically handicapped, improve workspaces for better program integration and place all programs and services under one roof.


“We have outgrown our current location in north Oklahoma City, where we’ve been since 1912,” said Ray Bitsche, CEO at Sunbeam. “We have become hidden away in a residential neighborhood, making Sunbeam hard to find and hidden from people who need our services the most. This new campus is an ideal location and facility for serving our clients.”


For more than 100 years, Sunbeam Family Services has served central Oklahoma by providing the highest quality of care for the poor and working poor in the metro community.


Bob Ross, president and CEO of Inasmuch Foundation said, “Oklahoma City has grown in significant ways since Sunbeam first opened, and their new location will allow them to continue to help provide services and counseling to Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens.


“Sunbeam’s long history coupled with their heritage of the highest quality services will usher them into another century of service,” Ross said.
Sunbeam opened its doors in 1907 to serve as a children’s home for dependent and neglected children. During World War II, Sunbeam operated a nursery for the children of women who worked in war-connected industries.


In the post-war 1940s, Sunbeam expanded into adult mental health services and at the time provided the only community-based mental health services in Oklahoma.


“Sunbeam has evolved to serve the ever-changing needs of the Oklahoma community, and we feel it’s a privilege to continue to serve vulnerable children, seniors and families,” Bitsche said.


Donors who have helped to make the relocation possible include Inasmuch Foundation, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, George Kaiser Family Foundation, Devon Energy, Ray and Pat Potts, Jennifer and Steve Grigsby, ONEOK Foundation, the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, and Nancy and George Records.


Additional donors include David and Lezlie Hudiburg, David and Jean McLaughlin, the Fred Jones Family Foundation, Steve Mason, the Merrick Foundation, and Patrick and Barbara Hill, as well as many other supporters in the community.


In addition, the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation has awarded a $1 million challenge grant to Sunbeam.


Sandy Trudgeon and Bob Ross are co-chairs for the Capitol campaign. Honorary co-chairs are Ray and Pat Potts.


The kickoff event, sponsored by Bank of Oklahoma, was held in March at the Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club.


Kelli Dupuy, Director of Marketing and Development said, “We are excited to say that after serving Oklahoma City for 106 years, 101 of those years from our current location, we are building a new home on Classen, between 13th and 14th.


“This will be the first time in our history that all four of our services areas (Counseling, Early Childhood Education, Foster Care, and Senior Services) will be under one roof.


“We will be better positioned to serve vulnerable children, seniors and families in our community with this new home,” Dupuy added.
All of Sunbeam Family Services are provided on a sliding-scale fee basis or free of charge.


To learn more about the “New Home, Forever Family” Capital Campaign visit http://sunbeamfamilyservices.org/campaign/.

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