Arizona leaders are gathering to push an action plan to reduce homelessness in the region

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Local and tribal governments gathered today to announce an action plan to respond to homelessness in the region. The plan was unanimously approved by the Maricopa Association of Governments Regional Council. We spoke with Regional Council “Chair,” Mesa Mayor John Giles, about the plan and what it calls for.

“There’s a lot of partners that need to come together if we’re going to have a meaningful impact on addressing homelessness in our region and so Maricopa Association of Government has traditionally been the regional leader on important issues most notably transportation, Prop 400…we realize that together we need to come together on those types of issues and homelessness now is added,” Giles said.

Several governments and nonprofits are coming together to work on this regional plan.

“It’s a 5-year plan to reduce homelessness in our region by 25%, it’s a $130-million plan, which is a lot of money but the good news is, $109 of it is already in the bank,” Giles said.

He continued to say that this money is coming from a variety of sources. There is rescue plan money that is being used, know as Cares Act money, that is being set aside for at-risk populations.

A lot of this funding has already been set aside and is ready to be used.

The MAG staff has been meeting with leaders and communities in the region to find out what people are capable of doing and what still needs to be done.

“We had a unanimous vote…at our last MAG meeting, all of the communities, all of the stakeholders and the nonprofits are coming together saying ‘yes, we need a regional approach to this’ and ‘yes, MAG is the right agency to direct that,'” Giles said.

Giles shared that this action plan involves not just providing individuals who are homeless with a bed but also providing wrap-around services from nonprofits that further enable those necessary resources to get the on a pathway to being self-sufficient.

John Giles, Mesa Mayor

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