Homelessness in Tempe affects all of us. The issues surrounding homelessness encompass many of society’s most pervasive social concerns like hunger, displaced families, substance abuse, serious mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic health problems. The reasons people fall into homelessness are as varied and unique as the people themselves, including: a lack of education, limited job skills, no personal support systems, deep poverty, job loss and lack of affordable housing.
The HOPE team (Homeless Outreach Prevention Effort) provides one-on-one case management and connection to housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. In addition, HOPE provides traditional street outreach and engagement, housing locator services and assistance with helping section-8 housing clients (and others) to remain housed.
Update on homeless-related efforts
Tempe relies on a multi-pronged approach to help meet its goal of ending homelessness, including: street outreach through the city’s HOPE team, collaboration between city departments, regional partnerships and the Agency Review process to fund community organizations. Learn more here: Homelessness Update (PDF) and Strategic Approach to Ending Homelessness (PDF).
The City Council has approved additional investments toward these efforts in the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The allocations – more than $1 million - will add city employees to work directly with people who are homeless, grow the Tempe Works jobs program and expand park maintenance to enhance city parks. Learn more here.
New road ahead with HOPE team
“At some point I came to a fork in the road and I took the wrong fork.”
Tempe's work toward ending homelessness often begins on a street corner or under a bridge with the HOPE team. For Paul Van Proyen, chronically homeless and extremely ill after a decade outdoors, it began with the team’s Homeless Outreach Specialist Kelly Denman and a question: “How come you never come talk to me?” When Van Proyen finally did, his life took a dramatic turn. Denman helped Van Proyen into housing and onto a new road. Read more.
Call the HOPE team at 480-858-7993 or 480-350-5844. HOPE is available from 7:30 am - 3:30 pm weekdays