A new program with ASU’s Action Nexus to help Veterans

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ASU’s Watts College Action Nexus has created a new program to help Veterans and others who cannot afford to pay rent. Shana Ellis explains more about what the program entails.

“The Action Nexus on housing and homelessness is based in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. The initiative is about two and a half years old, and it helps to connect and boost efforts in the community that already exist and add some ASU resources along the way. We have interns that are at agencies, we have faculty that are doing research and collecting data, but we also incubate programs. We have just started doing that over the last few months,” Ellis said.

The program pairs up veterans with other folks in the community, almost like a rooming service.

But it goes beyond roommate matching, according to Ellis. Various agencies throughout the valley went through training with the Shared Housing Institute, which is a national organization.

“The local groups that went through the training decided that this was something that needed to happen here in Arizona,” Ellis said.

How does the Program work?

The program works with agencies that already have people who need to find homes, Ellis said. They plan to start with veterans organizations.

“Veterans are used to living with other people, they also share a lot of common experiences. So we thought we’d start with them. And, there are a lot of vouchers available to house individuals,” Ellis said.

There are lists that track people’s preferences based on a long, intricate survey when determining who is involved in the program.

“With this, we really want it to be the individual’s choice of who they live with. We’re not forcing people to live together,” Ellis said.

People meet and fill out surveys to determine compatibility.

Shana Ellis, ASU's Action Nexus on Housing and Homelessness

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