Grant From Arizona Attorney General’s Office Supports Local Programs To Prevent Homelessness
Thursday, March 23, 2017
It is estimated that more than 1,700 people are homeless without a place to live on any given night in Pima County.
New funding from the Office of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich in early 2017 is bringing nearly $1 million in grant funding into the community to tackle the issue of homelessness and will enable three local agencies - Catholic Community Services Pio Decimo Center, Interfaith Community Services and Primavera Foundation - to increase services to prevent homelessness and help those in crisis secure and maintain stable housing and secure employment.
The overarching goal of the two-year funding is to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless in the first place, including the need for shelter placements, by targeting homelessness at its root causes, for instance, unemployment and access to affordable housing. Approximately 1,500 individuals or households will be served through the funding.
Research indicates the effects of homelessness, even short-term, are far-reaching. It shortens life span, limits children in school and perpetuates the cycle of generational poverty. Beyond the physical and emotional impact to its sufferers, homelessness is also a burden on taxpayers. Studies show that a single episode of homelessness can cost up to $20,000 in related welfare, health care, sheltering, environmental and policing costs. Conversely, results in Arizona, as well as nationally, have demonstrated that housing is the foundational intervention that moves an individual or family from homelessness to self-sufficiency.
“It’s incredibly rewarding when the office has an opportunity to do something meaningful for our community,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that our community members—especially those that are the most vulnerable, have the help and resources they need to get back on their feet. I applaud the work of these outstanding organizations.”
“We are grateful for these resources to meet rising community need and thrilled to see the Tucson/Pima County nonprofit community so strongly represented in the competition for these dollars,” said Daniel Stoltzfus, Interfaith Community Services CEO.
“Now more than ever, people in our community are in need of this assistance, and we are proud to be part of the effort to help those committed to making a better life for themselves and their families,” said Peg Harmon, CEO of Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona.
“We are delighted to receive this investment in our community, enabling us to provide an opportunity for those working so hard to become self-sufficient,” said Peggy Hutchison, Primavera Foundation CEO.
The grants come from a February 2016 joint state settlement that was reached between Arizona, 18 other states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Justice with Standard and Poor’s (S&P) to resolve a consumer lawsuit surrounding S&P’s finance ratings service. Up to $3 million of the funds received by the State of Arizona were made available to fund competitive grants over a two-year funding cycle to support community-based solutions that assist adults and families who are either homeless or on the verge of homelessness in moving towards self-sufficiency and independence, as well as vulnerable populations, including children.
A total of 36 agencies statewide participated in a competitive grant process. Catholic Community Services, Interfaith Community Services and Primavera Foundation were among eight grant awards in the state and the three in southern Arizona selected to receive the funding through the request for grant applications process in August 2016.
Catholic Community Services Pio Decimo Center is receiving $298,586 to provide case management, utility and rent assistance, life skills training, financial management and child care to 190 low-income and homeless families.
Interfaith Community Services was awarded $303,715 for its Steps to Stability program which helps individuals and families stabilize from crisis and avoid homelessness through strategic, targeted emergency financial aid focused on rent, utility assistance and removing barriers to employment. The program offers up to three months of housing assistance to qualifying families. In addition, ICS offers wraparound services including personalized case management to identify and overcome barriers to self-sufficiency, job search help and financial literacy workshops. Grant funds will serve up to 80 individuals or households over the two-year period.
Primavera Foundation was funded for two programs: $186,530 will support capital improvements, including expansion at Casa Paloma, a program providing survival health and wellness needs and safe, affordable housing to unaccompanied women experiencing homelessness. An additional $167,000 is for Primavera Works, a social enterprise providing employment support, temporary work, and temp- to-permanent hire opportunities for adults with barriers to employment such as those experiencing homelessness, returning veterans, and formerly incarcerated adults. The grant will support 1,100 adults.