A Month After HUD Cut Funding To Homeless Families, One Organization Sees Light At End Of The Tunnel

Published: Monday, June 13, 2016 - 9:22am
Updated: Monday, June 13, 2016 - 9:54am

(Photo courtesy of House of Refuge)
Many of the residents at House of Refuge are single mothers with two or three children, making around $1,500 a month. Many are the victims of domestic violence.

Last month, KJZZ reported that the Department of Housing and Urban Development defunded seven transitional housing programs across the state. These programs provide homeless families with a roof over the heads and life skills, such as how to manage a budget. KJZZ followed up with one of those organizations.

House of Refuge Executive Director Nancy Marion was desperate for a solution. She had 66 families who were going to be evicted from their homes by the end of next month. Then, the pieces began to fall into place late last week.  

"We have agencies connected. We’re not just saying call this person at this number and that makes a whole lot of difference," said Marion. "Because all the agencies are working together in synchronicity to try and deal with this crisis."

Marion says the majority of the families now have a place to go. As for the handful of other families who have not responded to Marion or reached out for help, she explains that people who are overwhelmed sometimes fall back on old habits and ignore reality, hoping that it will go away. In this case, it won’t. 

Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake along with members of the Arizona congressional delegation sent a letter to HUD Secretary Julian Castro on Friday, expressing concern that organizations like House of Refuge lost their funding. They're asking HUD to use existing resources to help displaced homeless families in Arizona.

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