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State of Arizona grant dollars allow Scottsdale to continue assisting homeless seniors and families

A view of Scottsdale City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. (Photo Arianna Grainey/
Department of Housing fuels Scottsdale homeless outreach services
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

The Arizona Department of Housing is awarding the city of Scottsdale $940,000 from the state of Arizona’s newly created Homeless Shelter and Services Fund, which is meant to continue an existing program helping people in need by offering emergency shelter at a Scottsdale hotel.

In addition to providing emergency shelter, Scottsdale city officials say, state funds fuel assistance from social services caseworkers and nutrition/essential needs support.

For more than a year, Scottsdale has operated a bridge housing program that provides temporary shelter combined with services and support.

The effort, which has been ongoing for a year, city official say, is among the programs and services offered by the Scottsdale Human Services Department that have resulted in a 44% decrease year-over-year of people experiencing homelessness in the city.

“Scottsdale is grateful to be a Homeless Shelter and Services Fund grant recipient,” Mayor David Ortega said in a prepared statement. “This award bolsters our efforts to provide homeless individuals and single parent families with access to healthy, safe and decent temporary housing and supportive services.”

How Scottsdale’s bridge housing program works:

The city of Scottsdale rents 10 rooms in a local hotel to provide emergency housing for individuals experiencing homelessness. Program eligibility requires participants to work with a caseworker to become self-sufficient and secure stable housing.

To date, 84% of participants have secured housing within 30 to 90 days. Last year, this program assisted 120 individuals in Scottsdale — a number city officials say is expected to duplicate in 2023.

As noted in the grant application, at least seven of the 10 rooms will be offered to seniors and families with children who have been displaced from their homes in Scottsdale.

The other three rooms will host senior women, single mothers and their child(ren) or families referred to Scottsdale from where Phoenix officials call the ‘Zone’ area.

Under the terms of the grant, these rooms could also offer emergency shelter for migrants who have entered the United States legally under Title 42, been vetted by U.S. Immigration and are awaiting transportation to other parts of the country. However, over the past year, the rooms were completely filled by those experiencing homelessness locally.

Of Note: There have been zero public safety calls associated with individuals in this bridge housing program.

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