Central Arizona Shelter Services faces funding shortage

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Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) is short $1.5 million after the Arizona Department of Housing turned down three of the organization’s multi-million dollar grant requests this year. The organization is hoping to get money from Phoenix City Council which could ease some of the loss.

“There has been unprecedented demand for services in the last several years as inflation has risen, the pandemic, we’ve had more homelessness,” said Lisa Glow, CEO of the organization.

The shelter has added hundreds of new beds, but the organization says it cannot maintain this additional capacity and service without the funding it requires.

Glow also attributes the shortfall to the state of Arizona not providing general fund dollars to CASS, the first time the state has decided not to do so in at least a decade.

“We have always, over the last 40 years, responded to need, and we’ve found a way to make it work. So I think that may be part of the reason we didn’t get funded because we’ve made it work. But we can’t continue to maintain without counting on state government,” Glow said.

“Last year in Maricopa County, there was somewhere around 1,200 people who died in the streets. So the stories need to be told. Shelters save lives; we’re the frontline,” Glow said.

Lisa Glow, CEO, Central Arizona Shelter Services

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