Aid for unhoused in Tempe

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Three community-based organizations in Tempe are coming together to help the unhoused. Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA), Aris Foundation, and AZ HUGS.

The goal of pooling resources is to create a more cohesive and coordinated approach to addressing homelessness, enabling them to serve more people and achieve greater impact. Key features of the partnership include:

• Shared Space: The partnership will operate from TCAA’s central location on Apache Boulevard and will provide a one-stop resource center where individuals experiencing homelessness can access a range of services including case management, warrant quashing, and navigation services to aid in detox, rehabilitation, and transportation. Resources provided at the site might include food packs, clothing, hygiene bags, pet food, water, and heat relief. Visitors can also access I-HELP emergency shelter intakes and rapid rehousing services onsite.

• Resource Sharing: The partners will pool their resources to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and expand the scope of services available to those in need, including sharing space and volunteers.

• Volunteer Opportunities: The efforts of local neighbors and businesses interested in serving unsheltered individuals (such as preparing food) will be coordinated through the partners.

• Improved Responsiveness: By sharing information and working together, the partners can respond more quickly to emerging needs and adapt to changes in the community

We were joined by Katherine Kouvelas-Edick, Executive Director at the Aris Foundation and Megan Wilson, the Senior Director of Programs at the Tempe Community Action Agency to discuss these next steps.

“Every Tuesday at Mountain Park Health Center we provide between 175 to 200 homeless individuals with dinner, clothing, hygiene items and anything that you could imagine,” Kouvelas-Edick said.

“We’ve increased the traffic, which helps us get more people into the shelter, we can get more people into stable housing and we’re just able to get our service out there as well,” Wilson said.

Katherine Kouvelas-Edick, Executive Director, the Aris Foundation;
Megan Wilson, Senior Director of Programs, Tempe Community Action Agency

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