We understand that people may always fall into homelessness for many reasons. We define ending homelessness as functional zero, where the availability of resources exceeds the size of the population needing those resources. As a result of achieving this, any individual’s experience of homelessness should be rare, brief and only occur one time.
Strategies for Ending Homelessness
In Tempe all categories of person’s experiencing homelessness are represented including: children and youth, families, individual adults, veterans, domestic violence survivors and aging adults. As a result, a comprehensive strategy is required to resolve homelessness. As part of the City’s Strategic Management Process, a new performance measure was finalized to direct our efforts:
“To end homelessness* in Tempe as measured by Tempe’s point in time count.”
*We understand that people may always fall into homelessness for many reasons. We define ending homelessness as functional zero, where the availability of resources exceeds the size of the population needing those resources. As a result of achieving this, any individual’s experience of homelessness should be rare, brief and only occur one time.
Currently Tempe has prioritized the chronic homeless population, thereby addressing immediate issues in our parks. This includes strengthening Tempe’s homeless response system and connecting it to the larger regional community of ending homelessness. This includes continued work on the Tempe Homeless Coalition strategic plan and collaborations across numerous areas of the city including the City Attorney’s Office, Tempe Fire Medical Rescue (TMFR), Human Services, Municipal Court, Tempe Police Department (TPD), and Public Works.
Housing and social services
Locally and nationally, there is an increase in unsheltered homelessness.
Maricopa County has experienced a 27 percent increase over the past two years according to HUD’s annual Point-in-Time Homeless Count. The closure of a large overflow shelter in Phoenix has compounded the impact on the entire regional community.
According to Tempe and regional reporting, there are about 1,100 homeless people in Tempe.
- Our HOPE homeless outreach team alone (not including CARE 7 or Tempe Community Council agencies) saw more than 600 unduplicated people in Tempe in 2018.
- During fiscal year 2017-18, 103 people in Tempe were permanently housed through the HOPE program, which is approximately an average of nine permanent housing move-ins per month.
- A total of 22 families, including 55 children from Tempe elementary schools, were assisted in 17-18 with case management, housing assistance as available, financial coaching, childcare and more.
The city is taking action and making progress to prevent and reduce homelessness.
Funding for Homeless Service Providers
The City of Tempe allocates funding annually for homeless service providers. Tempe Community Council administers the Human Services funding application process for the City. The following agencies are currently funded to provide homeless services:
- Tempe Community Action Agency: rent/utility assistance, food pantry and case management to low income and homeless individuals and families from Tempe; crisis shelter for homeless individuals in partnership with local faith-based communities
- Tempe Corps Salvation Army: case management to homeless individuals and families
- Central Arizona Shelter Services: shelter and casemanagement to homeless men, women and families
- Turn a New Leaf: crisis shelter for homeless families and homeless men who are able to work, crisis shelter for domestic violence victims and their families
- UMOM New Day Centers: crisis shelter and transitional living programs for homeless individuals, homeless families and victims of domestic violence
- Save the Family: transitional living for homeless families
- Homeward Bound: transitional living for homeless families
- Sojourner Center: crisis shelter and transitional living for victims of domestic violence and their families
- Chrysalis: crisis shelter and transitional living for victims of domestic violence and their families
- Catholic Charities and Community Services: crisis shelter and transitional living for victims of domestic violence and their families