Human Services Campus: Spike in those experiencing homelessness
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press
For officials at the Human Services Campus addressing and solving unsheltered homelessness requires a coordinated, collaborative response that is flexible to the unique needs of Arizona’s various regions and people.
“The growing unsheltered population is diverse and requires multiple approaches to give them safe indoor space,” said Amy Schwabenlender, who serves as executive director at the Human Services Campus, 204 S. 12th Ave., Phoenix.
“With legislators currently debating what the state’s final budget will look like, it’s vital that policy and decision makers, influencers and advocates work together, not separately, for realistic, sustainable solutions.”
Founded in 2005, the Human Services Campus is a collaborative force of partner organizations united on one campus to end homelessness, according to a press release. Found just west of downtown Phoenix, 16 independent agencies on the Campus see nearly 1,000 individuals every day, offering a holistic range of client services, officials there say.
Ms. Schwabenlender says a comprehensive approach to serving those unsheltered who are experiencing homelessness in Phoenix and the surrounding areas.
“Government agencies at every level are looking at their balance of American Rescue Plan Act funding and their fiscal year 2023 budgets,” she pointed out. “It is imperative that they consider a comprehensive approach to unsheltered homelessness. One-size-fits-all solutions are not practical, effective for individuals, or cost effective.”
In 2021, the state of Arizona allocated $40.7 million in stimulus funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to affordable housing and agencies providing services and resources to individuals experiencing homelessness.
“The rising number of people experiencing homelessness with no access to emergency shelter beds need facilitation to an array of services and housing options,” Schwabenlender said. “The unique circumstances and demographics of Arizona’s unsheltered population require multiple interventions.”