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American Rescue Plan: Human Services Campus receives $10M investment

Photo of man part of the Human Services Campus effort to help those experiencing homelessness
The allocation from ARPA funds distributed to the state of Arizona was based on a nine-point strategy submitted to the state. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress.com)

Grant to serve the unsheltered of Maricopa County,
Human Services Campus officials say

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Through the American Rescue Plan Act, a staggering $10 million is being allocated to the Phoenix-based Human Services Campus to invest in solutions addressing unsheltered homelessness across Maricopa County. 

The allocation from ARPA funds distributed to the state of Arizona was based on a nine-point strategy submitted to the state for unsheltered homelessness developed by HSC, Inc. calling for “a coordinated response that is flexible to the unique needs of the various regions of Arizona. The circumstances and demographics of the unsheltered population are varied and require multiple interventions,” according to a press release.   

Funds will not be used for day-to-day operations on the Human Services Campus at 12th Avenue and Madison, “but as the launching point to add capacity for the growing number of individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness,” said HSC, Inc. Executive Director Amy Schwabenlender. “On behalf of the people who will benefit from this incredibly generous funding, we are deeply grateful.”

Ms. Schwabenlender said an implementation plan will be developed to “invest the funding effectively, efficiently and quickly,” citing three primary focuses for the first phase. Those strategies are:

  • Sprung Structures, similar to the Respiro Sprung Structure on the Human Services Campus, for easy access, temporary shelter for between 100 and 200 individuals per structure. Sprung Structures can be built in less than 90 days.
  • Bridge housing utilizing motel and hotel rooms for individuals who are employed or ready for employment; waiting for benefits determinations; or otherwise who have a short-term plan for income to afford permanent housing, and
  • Multidisciplinary street outreach teams that work in specific geographic areas with representatives or organizations that specialize in mental health, physical health, veterans, youth and others. Teams would be coordinated to work through specific by-name lists that can guide individuals to appropriate shelter and housing.

Other potential ideas in the HSC, Inc. strategy include safe outdoor spaces; a transition facility in Maricopa County for Department of Corrections discharges; medical respite facilities for individuals being discharged from hospitals, long-term care and rehabilitation facilities, according to Ms. Schwabenlender.

“The key to these changes is collaboration,” Ms. Schwabenlender said. “Our goal is to identify and work with partners representing the diverse organizations and the resources they provide to individuals experiencing homelessness across the broader community.”

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