Local lawyer opens NE OKC community and cultural center
When Lori Combs purchased the building on Northeast 36th and Kelley, her intention was to move her law practice here. But she soon realized that this place had a bigger purpose.
“We help our community members with the basic necessities of life,” Combs said.
Nearly eight years ago, attorney Lori Combs began helping residents of the Northeast community with free meals.
“Monday through Friday we have free breakfast, lunch and dinner, Saturday we have a lunch, and Sunday we have a Sunday family meal,” Combs said.
Initially, there was a cost for the meals.
“She saw someone eating from the garbage cans and she said she couldn’t let people go hungry, and she started feeding breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said Arnita Golden, one of the community and cultural center volunteers.
Combs, however, knew his community needed more than free food.
“We are tutoring, we have a mentorship program, we are preparing to open our community closet, where we will have clothing for men, women, boys and girls,” Combs said.
There is also a community garden at no charge for any of the services provided.
“All of this Lori is doing on her own and out of pocket,” said Eunice Dawson, a former volunteer who is now taking advantage of the free food.
No corporate partners or sponsors here, everything is funded by Combs and people who want to donate.
“God provides us with what we need and more so we can share with others,” Combs said.
Combs understands the value of a place like this to his community.
“A lot of times people don’t just come to eat or get dressed, sometimes they just want to talk, they just want a hug, they just want someone to share things with, someone to pay attention to. And we provide that. Love is free, so we have a lot of it,” Combs said.