Piper Charitable Trust Encore Career Prize

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The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust will honor an inspiring encore career leader who is addressing a major social need in Maricopa County with a second career. We will talk Mike McQuaid, winner of the inaugural Piper Trust Encore Career Prize.

Steve Goldstein: The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust will honor an inspiring encore career leader who's addressing a major social need in Maricopa County with a second career. The recipient of the inaugural encore career prize is Mike McQuaid. He's President of J.M. Management Company, a real estate and investment firm, and is also deeply involved in numerous valley charities and joins me now to talk about winning the award and his charity work. Mike, welcome and thank you for being here. First, you had to be nominated for this. Did you know you were nominated?

Mike McQuaid: I knew a while ago that I was nominated by the United Way and a couple other individuals.

Steve Goldstein: How did you decide to get involved with homelessness, in particular, with your business background?

Mike McQuaid: Well, in the very beginning, it was more just from trying to help in the community, the people who are homeless. My wife and I, many years ago, got involved with the early upstart of a charity called Andre House, a soup kitchen, still going on today, and serving a meal right as we speak in Downtown Phoenix. And we were looking for, through our church, a community project for teenagers, and including our own son, so that's why I first got involved and got around with the homeless of our community.

Steve Goldstein: And Mike, many people are charitable, many people spend time, some money, and you have obviously gone above and beyond with that, and I wonder, if you win a prize like this it's clearly significant, it's extremely meaningful to you, so, beyond that, what do you think in your mind, in your soul, really drove you to do this?

Mike McQuaid: For me, it really was, was meeting individuals on the street almost 30 years ago that had almost nothing, and they had no family. They were by themselves, and they were really down and out, and kind of giving up on life, and for me, personally, I could not imagine that because I come from a very close-knit supportive family, and my wife, Molly and I have two wonderful sons, and grandchildren, and we have that family, and it just hurt me to see people suffering like that, and that's what really first got me involved with trying to help the homeless.

Steve Goldstein: I say this jokingly to some extent but people have this vision of a successful business leader, and not that they don't do charitable things, but that they are driving hard to make that next buck, and you are making a dollar a month involved with the Human Services Campus, and how did you reach that amount?

Mike McQuaid: They have not paid me lately. That was more a token thing when I was first asked to be the director of the Human Services Campus, and I really have, this award in particular, is very meaningful to me, and I never got into charity work to win awards, or a prize like this, certainly, but, to have it be from Piper, the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust and Experience Matters, those two organizations mean a great deal to me. So on behalf of hundreds and thousands of volunteers that help the homeless, I am happy to accept it, but, my business background, I think, really did help me in helping create the Human Services Campus. And that's a 12-acre site, about the same size that we do in our business, is a neighborhood shopping center, so putting the right partners together and creating the site plan, and how to deliver services is very similar to a retail operation. It's helped me tremendously.

Steve Goldstein: What are some of the things being done at the Human Services Campusthat are making not necessarily a dent in homelessness but making it a bit easier for those folks who are homeless?

Mike McQuaid: Well, we are really going beyond a dent at this time. It used to be just food, shelter and clothing, and that was the compassionate thing to do to help somebody who didn't have those things, and as I say, that drew me to it, but, I always wanted to see what could we do more, and really, to end someone's homelessness is to put them in housing, and so, years ago, Steve Zabilski said, from St. Vincent De Paul and Mark Holleran from CASS and Sister Adele O'Sullivan from Healthcare for the Homeless and many others got together and we got the support of the community. Leaders like Marty Schultz and Governor Brewer, at that time, the chairman of the board supervisors, and we really sat down and worked out how could we better serve the homeless, and that would be if we were in one location so we could deliver those services, the basic needs, in a better fashion. And that's grown, today was our eighth anniversary at the campus, and we have done, you know, tens of thousands of meals, and thousands and thousands of medical appointments, and we helped thousands of people get employed, and back on their feet, but what we are doing now and with the help of the United Way, what I'm involved with is permanent supportive housing. As I said earlier, the way that somebody ends their homelessness is to be housed, so we are focusing on -- it's great to provide the basics, food, shelter and clothing but we want to get people into housing faster, and we said as a community, a goal of ending chronic homelessness. And believe it or not, I can say today, and I said it last night at the awards banquet, we will end chronic homelessness among Veterans in the next 12 months. We identified the chronically homeless in our community, and we will do that, and shortly thereafter, we should end chronic homelessness, and that's somebody who has been homeless more than a year, or multiple times in the last three year, and I heard in the earlier discussions about economic models, and what's good for the community, and those are individuals that have, have been constantly taking our services disproportionately. And at the campus, we see about 1,200 or 1,300 people a day. And they consume over 65 percent of our resources, that small 15 percent, so, we're housing chronically homeless individuals.

Steve Goldstein: Mike, thank you and congratulations again.

Mike McQuaid: Thank you.

Steve Goldstein: Nice to have you here.

Steve Goldstein: Friday on "Arizona Horizon," it's the journalist's roundtable, apple opening a production plant in Mesa was one of the many business stories this week. We'll be here tomorrow night at 5:30 and 10:00 for the journalists' roundtable. I'm Steve Goldstein. Thanks for watching. And have a great night.

Mike McQuaid:Award Winner, Piper Trust Encore Career Prize;

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