Maricopa County offers fuel to programs to combat homelessness

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has approved nine contracts officials say are in support of regional solutions for homelessness.

The contracts, worth $1.3 million, will fund programs that offer rapid re-housing and support services as well as emergency shelter, according to a press release.

“By coordinating these services with dedicated and experienced local partners, Maricopa County has positioned itself as a regional leader on this complex issue,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Denny Barney in a prepared statement.

The challenges of homelessness require an understanding of the relationships between available and affordable housing, mental health, the justice system, and support services, county officials contend.

“Maricopa County is developing linkages between programs using proven approaches to provide solutions,” said Bruce Liggett, director of the Maricopa County Human Services Department.

These contracts will provide housing for approximately 50 individuals and, in the coming year, shelter for over 1,700 individuals, officials say. Shelter providers also assist with housing placements. These contracts leverage new and existing fund sources in innovative ways, working with local communities and nonprofits such as:

  • A New Leaf will provide shelter services to single adults in the East Valley;
  • Circle the City will provide medical respite and shelter to single adults in the East and West Valley;
  • Native American Connections will offer youth shelter, as well as rapid re-housing services in the East and West Valley, with a priority for referrals from the county’s Correctional Health Services;
  • AZCEND (formerly Chandler Christian) will offer rapid re-housing services in the East Valley;
  • Lutheran Social Services will provide shelter services with other local faith organizations in the East and West Valley;
  • Community Bridges, Inc. will provide rapid re-housing services outside the City of Phoenix, with a priority for referrals from the county’s Correctional Health Services.

Three of the nine contracts will receive continued funding, reflecting the county’s commitment to current homeless services offered at the Human Services Campus in Phoenix. St. Vincent de Paul and Lodestar Day Resource Center will provide temporary shelter and supportive services.

The Housing and Community Development Division of Maricopa County’s Human Services Department is expected to coordinate and oversee the contracts.

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