State Announces Additional $8.2 Million To Further Serve Arizonans Facing Homelessness

Funding Follows First Phase Of Nearly $5 Million To 40 Organizations Statewide

Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) announced the distribution of an additional $8.2 million to provide Arizonans facing homelessness with critical services.

“We want to ensure struggling families and those facing homelessness have access to the support and resources they need to keep a roof over their heads,” said Governor Ducey. “This additional funding will help more people in need connect with crucial health and safety services provided across the state. My thanks to the Department of Economic Security and the many organizations in Arizona working to support others during the pandemic.”

The funding, totaling $8,188,836, comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program to help prevent, prepare for, and respond to the impacts of COVID-19 in communities in need. All 31 organizations across the state that applied have been awarded the funding through a competitive grant to provide rapid rehousing, homelessness prevention, emergency shelter services and more. The grant program was announced in late December, and opened in mid-January. The funding distribution follows nearly $5 million in ESG distributed to homeless organizations statewide in December 2020 and the nearly $6 million distributed in July 2020.

“Individuals who are experiencing homelessness and the communities dedicated to serving them continue to feel the impacts of the pandemic,” said DES Director Michael Wisehart. “This additional round of funding is crucial to ensuring these services remain available to struggling Arizonans. We are grateful to be able to work with such exceptional organizations to secure shelter for families in need.”

“Everyone deserves a safe, accessible place to call home,” said Primavera Foundation CEO Peggy Hutchison. “As our community members struggle to stay safe and healthy, especially during the pandemic, we are delighted and grateful to partner with the Arizona Department of Economic Security to provide immediate critical shelter services for women, men, and families as we partner with them on their pathways out of poverty.”

“Cornerstone Mission Project is honored and blessed to partner with DES to provide the following services to homeless or at-risk of homelessness for families and individuals: Emergency Shelter, Rapid Rehousing, Homeless Prevention and Street Outreach throughout Mohave and LaPaz Counties,” said Cornerstone Mission Administrator Melanie Windecker. “Cornerstone Mission is a help-up organization and through our partnership with DES we are able to assist families and individuals journey from homeless or at risk of homelessness to a positive housing outcome, achieving housing stability and self-sufficiency. DES partnership through the ESG programs provides the much-needed supports that assist the most vulnerable members in our communities.”

Additionally, on February 23, 2021, DES launched the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to provide rental and utility assistance in 12 Arizona counties. Renters and landlords impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in these counties may now apply for assistance online at http://des.az.gov/ERAP.

Background
On July 14, 2020, Governor Ducey announced a plan to distribute $5,950,572 from the ESG program to organizations that support Arizonans in need, combat homelessness, and help ensure families and individuals keep a roof over their heads.

A total of $4.35 million of the funding was distributed to shelters, programs and services that help homeless individuals and families throughout Arizona. Services and programs that work to prevent homelessness in Arizona received $1.6 million.

On July 21, 2020, the Governor announced $975,000 from the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund for 12 organizations in Arizona that provide shelter for those experiencing homelessness. The funding supports efforts to provide food for those utilizing shelters; locate alternative housing to maintain social distancing among the homeless population; and clean and sanitize shelters to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On March 30, 2020, the Governor announced an initial $6.7 million in funding to support Arizona food banks, nutrition programs and programs that serve the homeless. The dollars come from the Crisis Contingency and Safety Net Fund, established in March 2020 through a bipartisan state budget agreement that added $50 million for Arizona’s COVID-19 response.

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