The pandemic exacerbated the national crises of individuals suffering from homelessness. Social services and safe, open spaces were limited in 2020 and the economic consequences of the pandemic have put more Americans at the risk of entering homelessness. The programs below provide services to address housing affordability and the homelessness crisis.
Proposal includes three major components:
• Lease of hotel operated by a nonprofit for bridge housing, includes wraparound services
• Purchase hotel for long-term housing, including wraparound services
• Operate pocket emergency shelter in partnership with a nonprofit, including wraparound services
Heat Response/Temporary Shelter
Provide temporary shelter and wraparound services for people experiencing homelessness. This program will partner with Maricopa County to enter into a lease agreement for a building and begin by providing critical heat relief and additional wraparound services for up to 200 people this summer and continue the program for at least two additional years.
Utility & Rental Assistance
This program has three parts: $4 million to serve Phoenix households unable to meet the Emergency Rental Assistance program (ERA) federal criteria (Human Services Department), $5 million to initiate the Deferred Payment Arrangement Recovery Program (Water Services Department), and $5 million for the Landlord Incentive Program (Housing Department).
One key finding from the City’s ERA Program is that many Phoenix households above the 80% AMI threshold were also in need of rental and utility assistance as they experienced a COVID-19 impact, such as loss of employment or loss of income. Because of the increased demand from this unserved population, the City determined it would expand the eligibility threshold between 80%-120% AMI and allow for self-attestation to a negative economic COVID-19 impact. Serving Phoenix residents who make less than 50% AMI still remains a priority within the ERA Program.
The Deferred Payment Arrangement Program is serving low-income residents who are unable to pay their City Service bill, which includes both the water and solid waste utility. Residents are self-attesting to a negative economic COVID-19 impact to receive services. Lastly, the Landlord Incentive Program provides housing incentives to landlords to accept Section 8 Vouchers from residents. The COVID-19 pandemic made it more difficult for households to achieve housing stability as many faced the prospects of homelessness. This program aims to increase housing stability by providing affordable units to residents.
Affordable Housing Program
Pending federal guidance, continue to explore possible ways to create and preserve more affordable housing by providing gap financing to developers.
Hotel Acquisition and Renovation
The City will be using funds to purchase and renovate a hotel to assist residents experiencing homelessness. This project will be updated as more information becomes available.
Homelessness and Mental Health
The City has contracted $9 million with Mercy Care to provide outreach, behavioral health, substance abuse, physical health, and transportation services to residents. This will include screening for Medicaid (AHCCCS) eligibility and assistance in applying. Additionally, City Council approved $1.5 million to provide services to those experiencing homelessness along the Salt River Project (SRP) canals and other areas throughout the City. This includes increased services for individuals in these areas as well as pilot project to train and pay individuals experiencing homelessness to conduct beautification projects and landscaping duties (Phoenix Rescue Mission).
The pandemic exacerbated the national crises of individuals suffering from mental health disorders and homelessness. Social services were limited in 2020 and the economic consequences of the pandemic have put more Americans at the risk of entering homelessness. Several studies claim anxiety and depression and substance abuse worsened for individuals and were negatively impacted by the gap in care. This program strives to increase access to services for disproportionately impacted groups.
St. Vincent de Paul Transitional Housing Project
Provide funding to St. Vincent de Paul to build 100 new transitional housing beds for people experiencing homelessness in the City of Phoenix. The facility will include wraparound services to remove barriers to end homelessness. Maricopa County is matching funding for capital costs.
XWing Non-Congregate Shelter Project
A top priority of the City is to find creative solutions to address homelessness as rapidly as possible. Adapting shipping containers to become non-congregate shelter units is a unique, efficient solution. This project will install four refurbished shipping container pods designed in the shape of an ‘X’ to create private sleeping areas at the city-owned site at 3000 S. 22nd Ave. Each XWing consists of four 40-foot shipping containers that can sleep up to 20 people in a 5 by 8 private space. The site will also contain Sprung Structures that will be used for congregate shelter, communal spaces, bathrooms and showers, shaded outdoor areas, amenities for pets, storage, laundry, and other amenities.
Community Land Trust Program
Pending federal guidance, continue to explore funding an all-inclusive (acquisition, housing development, rehabilitation, down payment assistance and administrative costs) Community Land Trust.
US Vets and Veteran Relief
Funds will provide relief for Veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness during the pandemic. Many of our vets are more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to living conditions, age, and chronic health complications. funds could also provide additional operational support needed by the US Vets Organization to transition into the property purchased earlier this year with COVID Relief Funds.
Summer Heat Respite
A sprung structure was constructed to provide a place of respite during the summer for individuals experiencing homelessness. The sprung structure has been completed and provides guests with a place to socially distance due to COVID-19 and include meals, outreach, and other supports. It has evolved from a summer respite to a space where individuals homelessness can properly social distance and receive case management services. Funds were also used to provide temporary shade structures in the summer of 2021.
The pandemic exacerbated the national crises of individuals suffering from homelessness. Social services and safe, open spaces were limited in 2020 and the economic consequences of the pandemic have put more Americans at the risk of entering homelessness. This structure will increase access to services for disproportionately impacted groups such as those experiencing homelessness as they will be able to find respite in times of extreme heat and make contact with social service agencies.
The City has contracted with Justa Center to provide COVID-19 supportive services for seniors experiencing homelessness. Funds will expand outreach and engagement services, non-urgent facility-based care and housing supportive services such as move-in kits, classes on independent living, weekly check-in visits from a social worker, assistance with scheduling health care appointments, and transportation to health care appointments if needed.
Homeless Youth Reunification Program
Connect youth experiencing homelessness with housing and social support needs. The program will allow youth to be reconnected with family/friends, pay for housing deposits and other move-in needs and unexpected barriers that prevent youth from exiting homelessness.
Transit Heat Relief Program
The goal of this summer program was to provide a 40-foot bus at the Human Services Campus where individuals experiencing homelessness are located to prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths among vulnerable populations. The program ran from July 2021 to September 2021. Total number of individuals on the bus was tracked by the hour each day. These numbers may have been duplicated throughout the day.