Maricopa Association of Governments receives funding for unhoused programs

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The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) just received 36-million dollars in funding to help with programs addressing homelessness in Maricopa county. Katie Gentry, the Program Manager at Maricopa Association of Governments joined us to discuss.

“There is significantly increasing numbers of people experiencing homelessness in our community, so the need is more than every before,” said Gentry. “But we’re also doing more that ever before, we’re really coming together as a region to address homelessness.”

According to Gentry, about 95% of the grant is going to housing. This will be split between permanent supportive housing and rapid-rehousing programs. The rest will go toward infrastructure needs such as coordinated entry programs.

“It’s the front door into the system, we try to get people matched with the best resource that is available to them,” said Gentry. “I say available though because we don’t have near enough resource for the number of people experiencing homelessness in our region.”

This funding comes on the heels of the annual point in time homelessness count, which happens every spring to determine the number of unhoused individuals are in Maricopa County. It is estimated to be in the thousands, but the final count number will be available in late April.

As Gentry pointed out, a significant number of shelter beds were opened over the last three years due to COVID response money. She hopes this has helped reduce the number of unsheltered individuals.

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