Phoenix Approves Millions More For Homeless Services

By Christina Estes
Published: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - 9:10pm
Updated: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 12:46pm

Several beds line the walls and floor at Central Arizona Shelter Services
Kathy Ritchie/KJZZ
Several beds line the walls and floor at Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) in Phoenix. This is the women's dormitory.

Two weeks after approving a zoning request for more shelter beds, Phoenix is now devoting millions more for homeless services. 

The Human Services Campus near downtown is home to 16 organizations providing services, including Central Arizona Shelter Services, the state's largest shelter. CASS’s executive director Lisa Glow said the extra $2.4 million the council approved Wednesday will help them add 275 beds by this summer. 

“It’s really important to us that we have a great shelter, where people want to come inside," she said. "We’ve had waiting lists for years, the expansion will help us but we also know there are people who are resistant to coming in, by improving the quality of the shelter we will be able to get people to come inside.”

Glow said they will also hire more managers to reduce caseloads.

“The best practices of 1-to-30 is the ratio that’s recommended. We’re currently around 1-to-40, and we also have a waiting list for senior citizens who need a case manager. They need more intensive support," she said.

The Human Services Campus will receive $1.4 million, which executive director Amy Schwabenlender said will help meet the stipulations required as part of the zoning request approval, including more security and cleaning around the property.

The vote also included $9 million for homeless service providers and $14 million to acquire a new shelter or improve current ones. The money is a one-time allotment that comes from federal coronavirus relief funds. 

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