On any night in Maricopa County more than 5,000 people experience the phenomena of homelessness.
That number is often a surprise, outreach officials say, but the 2015 Point-in-Time Count survey points to a significant level of need present for vulnerable populations even in the affluent Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale.
“We will rescue this year alone, in part with their funding, over 100 families who have lost their homes,” said Family Promise of Greater Phoenix CEO Ted Taylor in a March 7 phone interview.
“That is equivalent to about 350 people and 70 percent of those people will return to their own sustainable housing within 60 days overall.”
The mission of Family Promise of Greater Phoenix is to provide emergency shelter and social services to help families move toward independent housing and self-sufficiency. The staff at Family Process, with help by volunteers, partnerships and collaborations offers safe shelter, food, case management, counseling, lifeskills training.
Mr. Taylor points out a yearly grant from The Charro Foundation helps the outreach effort succeed at a lower rate of cost than any of the organization’s peers.
Moreover, families have the opportunity to receive employment support, financial literacy, parenting skills and housing assistance.
Founded in 1998, Family Promise has been providing shelter services for 17 years. They served 37 families in 2000, and 106 families in 2015.
The Scottsdale Charros provided Family Promise with a $15,000 grant meant to help facilitate the Whole & Healthy Families Emergency Shelter Program. For 56 years the Scottsdale Charros have been in constant pursuit of improving the lives of Scottsdale residents while preserving the community’s ties to its western heritage.
“The key behind this is this is the most cost-effective way to provide emergency shelter services in the Valley,” Mr. Taylor pointed out. “We leverage community partners to provide this shelter. The Charros are getting a three-to-one return on every dollar invested due to the in-kind donations we receive.”
Family Promise moved to its current south Scottsdale location six years ago. Since then, a second nightly congregation network, two on-site apartments for employed families and the organization has hired a full-time licensed social worker.
Other changes include an expanded master’s level intern partnership with Arizona State University.
“In Maricopa county 41 percent of all the homeless are families — you just don’t see them,” Mr. Taylor pointed out. “84 percent of those are single mothers with their young children. We are tying to help them find their path back to sustainability. We do all of this with a staff of nine people.”
Mr. Taylor points out the Scottsdale Charros have been a valued supporter of Family Promise of Greater Phoenix for quite some time now.
“What we have found out is they are deeply passionate about children and the children who go through this tragedy,” he explained of his experience with the Scottsdale Charros.
“We are the only homeless shelter in Scottsdale. The Charros have been critical to our growth and they have been critical to getting the word out in the community. Scottsdale has been a pivotal piece for our fami-lies and the Charros are at the hub of that.”
Go to familypromiseaz.org.
–By Terrance Thornton