Hope & Home Family Shelter Program Provides Comprehensive Services to Unsheltered Families
PHOENIX, Ariz.— Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona (GCNA) has announced the launch of its Hope & Home Family Shelter Program in collaboration with Mercy House, a nationally recognized nonprofit providing solutions to confront homelessness across Arizona. The program is made possible by American Rescue Plan Act funding awarded by the Governor’s office.
The Hope & Home Family Shelter Program secures immediate, safe shelter for families experiencing unsheltered homelessness in the Maricopa, Yavapai, and Coconino counties. Qualified households are defined as a family with at least one adult and one minor child. The program provides comprehensive support services and resources to empower families to acquire permanent housing as quickly as possible.
“Goodwill has been on a mission in Arizona communities to end poverty for more than 75 years. We know that homelessness and unemployment are often linked in a self-perpetuating cycle, and we are grateful for the opportunity to expand Goodwill’s services into this area of pressing need,” said Tim O’Neal, CEO of Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona. “In partnership with Mercy House, the Hope & Home Family Shelter Program will help stabilize families in crisis while delivering the resources and support they need to get back on their feet and into permanent housing. There is nothing quite like watching a family get keys to their new, stable place to call home.”
The funding for the Hope & Home Family Shelter Program is designed to support up to 200 families annually. Since the program launched in late March, more than 60 families have been sheltered.
Families participating in the Hope & Home Family Shelter Program will receive intensive case management, as well as access to a dedicated career coach to assist in re-entering the workforce and Goodwill’s no-cost career services such as MyCareerAdvisor.com, a job readiness and digital skills training virtual program. They will also receive support from a dedicated landlord liaison to assist with rental housing searches, housing applications, and move-in processes. This includes move-in cost assistance to help reduce the financial burden of exiting homelessness and renting a new apartment.
“Mercy House has been serving Maricopa County for the past three years and is proud to partner with Goodwill to pilot this dignified and effective solution to reduce homelessness in our region,” said Larry Haynes, CEO of Mercy House. “The partnership will allow us to build on our portfolio of services to include emergency shelter for families.”
In Arizona, the homelessness crisis has grown annually since 2017. The COVID-19 public health emergency contributed to the decrease in housing stability and increased frequency and duration of homelessness for individuals and families. Shelters decreased their bed capacity to adhere to social distancing recommendations, and income disruption and job loss occurred more frequently. Multiple housing development projects were also delayed or eliminated due to labor shortages and supply chain disruptions.
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About Goodwill of Central & Northern Arizona
Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to ending poverty through the power of work. Goodwill takes a holistic approach to employment by providing job seekers the tools to feel confident, purpose driven, and successful. Donating or shopping at Goodwill supports its no-cost career services available to anyone looking for a new job, education, or training. Goodwill diverts millions of pounds of material from Arizona landfills, giving them second life through reuse or recycling. To learn more, find a store near you or make a donation, visit: www.goodwillaz.org and morethanastore.com.
About Mercy House
For more than 30 years, Mercy House has facilitated innovative, best-in-class housing solutions, including emergency family shelters, to end homelessness in California and Arizona. Each year, over 7,000 people are served by Mercy House’s programs, including many in hotel conversions. Mercy House is powered by a team of 600+ people and an annual budget of $53M. The organization is nationally recognized for providing functional solutions to confronting homelessness in Central and Southern California and across Maricopa County, Arizona. To learn more, visit: www.mercyhouse.net.