Background and Resources

Homelessness Background

As a council of governments that brings together communities across the region to address matters of mutual concern, MAG began working on human services issues in the mid-1970s. Over the next two decades, homelessness became an increasing focus. In 1999, MAG began supporting the Continuum of Care to help coordinate housing and services for people experiencing homelessness, to prioritize needs and coordinate applications for federal funding. Since 1999, the Continuum of Care has secured more than $300 million in funding for housing and service programs. MAG also helps coordinate the annual Point in Time count to determine the number of people experiencing homelessness at a single point in time, supports the Regional Plan to End Homelessness and engages with the Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care on developing regional best practice strategies to address the crisis that is homelessness. Below are some additional background materials to answer frequent questions about homelessness in the region.

PIT Count 2022 Statistics

Recommended Triage Screening Steps

Homeless Triage Screening Tips

Screening to identify persons for follow up and referral:
For shelter staff and outreach workers, below is the recommended triage screening steps to take with shelter residents and homeless outreach clients:

  1. Determine if the client has a fever, by:
    • Taking their temperature using a temporal thermometer, or
    • Ask the client, "Have you felt like you had a fever in the past day?"
  2. Ask the client "Do you have a new or worsening cough today?"

If the client has a fever OR a new/worsening cough:

  1. Provide a facemask for the client to wear over their nose and mouth, if facemasks are available and if the client can tolerate it.
    • If facemasks are not available, advise the client on cough etiquette and provide tissues.
  2. Notify management and appropriate healthcare providers, as available.
  3. Direct them to an isolation room if available, or an available space in the area designated for symptomatic persons.
    • If your shelter does not have an area for symptomatic people, redirect the person to the location pre-specified by the County public health department.
  4. Let the client know:
    • If their symptoms worsen, they should notify someone immediately.
    • Not to leave their room/the symptomatic area except to use the restroom.
    • If they leave their room/the symptomatic area, they must wear a mask.

Use standard shelter protocols for medical emergencies.
Note: In shelters, ask guests these questions daily. In unsheltered settings, screening should be performed by outreach workers as feasible. Update information in HMIS Covid-19 Sub-assessment.