Regional Homelessness Strategies

Regional Homelessness Strategies

Regional-Homeless-Strategy
Implementing-homeless-strategies

There is an alarming rise in the numbers of people experiencing homelessness in our region. More people are at risk of eviction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Innovative solutions require increased collaboration at every level in the region. Everyone can play a role in reducing and preventing homelessness. The purpose of this web page is to help a diverse audience fully understand the issues surrounding homelessness, the diligent cooperative work being done in this area, and how everyone can participate in ending homelessness.

Key Partners

There are many federal, state, and regional partners working to address homelessness in the region. Here are a few:

Continuum of Care (CoC)

The Continuum of Care Program is a structure defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to promote communitywide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness. It provides funding for efforts by nonprofit providers and state and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families, and communities by homelessness, as well as other identified goals related to housing and supportive services.

Key Partners in Ending Homelessness
Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care

On a regional level, the Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care works with many partners to develop regional solutions to end homelessness. Members of the Continuum of Care Board include local elected officials, service provider agencies, formerly homeless individuals, and advocates. Decisions are made by the Regional Continuum of Care Board with input from the Continuum of Care Committee. Staffed by the Maricopa Association of Governments since 1999, the region has successfully competed well in the national application for funding. Over the years, the HUD funding award has increased and now supports more than 40 homeless assistance programs in 13 different agencies. This award has been an important and consistent source of funding for the community.

Regional Collaborative on Homelessness

The Regional Collaborative on Homelessness is a partnership among the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), the Maricopa County Human Services Department, Arizona State University (ASU) Action Nexus, the Arizona Housing Coalition, Vitalyst Health Foundation, and Valley of the Sun United Way. The partners of the collaborative are aligning efforts in order to reduce duplication and to maximize resources in finding solutions to homelessness.

Key Partners on 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 2020 Statistics

Process to Strengthen the Regional Infrastructure to Address Homelessness

The impending wave of people who may experience homelessness when the moratorium on evictions is lifted could easily overwhelm the infrastructure in place. This threatens the region’s stability and ability to offer viable opportunities for all people to attain housing and prosperity while giving back to their communities. The Regional Collaborative on Homelessness is working on strategies that will strengthen the region’s infrastructure to address homelessness. The goals of the strategies are to reduce the numbers of people experiencing homelessness, geographically disperse access to homeless assistance programs throughout the region, and strengthen the safety net for all people.

Strengthening Infrastructure

Research

Data and research are central to planning efforts to reduce homelessness. To inform its planning work, MAG and its partners are undertaking comprehensive research efforts. For example, we recently completed an analysis of the most effective practices both locally and nationally. These strategies are being compiled into a regional portfolio. We are working to define the investments already made by communities throughout the region to address homelessness. Understanding this will help us determine appropriate fundraising targets to implement new strategies. We have also launched a study to better understand considerations when siting new homeless services, housing and shelter. This will help us reach our goal of geographically dispersing the assistance outlined by the regional strategies.

In response to requests received for an asset map and a needs assessment, we are developing an interactive mapping tool to show the assets available to address homelessness, as well as areas of need. Feedback from the municipal human services directors are shaping this work.

There also is a recognition that law enforcement plays a role in connecting people experiencing homelessness with assistance. Survey results from law enforcement agencies are being analyzed to further explore this role and identify opportunities.

Researching Homelessness

Outreach

Extensive outreach is ongoing to engage diverse perspectives from key stakeholders. We have launched a series of outreach forums that include local governments, businesses, nonprofit providers, education, philanthropy, and the faith community. We are excited to partner with experts for each forum. It is critical to embed this work within the expertise of nonprofit providers, and we will continue to provide opportunities for input from all who have an interest in ending homelessness. Please reach out to MAG staff (contact information on "Key Partners" tab) or visit azmag.gov/comment to provide input.

Homeless Outreach

Interactive Tool

An interactive mapping tool is currently being developed to show the assets available to address homelessness, as well as other areas of need.

Regional Homeless Strategy Portfolio and Implementation Plan

With the research on effective national and local strategies now complete, a regional portfolio is under development. This portfolio is anticipated by May 2021. Once approved, an implementation plan will be completed by the fall. Please check this site often for updated materials.

Pathways Home – A Regional Homelessness Action Plan for Local and Tribal Governments

Regional Homelessness Portfolio Strategies Framework – describes the criteria used to prioritize the draft strategies.

Emerging Strategies Overview – reflects the prioritized strategies. Once the prioritization has been vetted and finalized, additional depth and details will be added to the strategies as the portfolio is prepared for action in May.

 

Resources

Do you or someone you know need help with mental health support, paying your bills, or assistance during the pandemic? For rapid assistance, dial 211, or reach out to any of the resources listed below.

Get Involved

You can learn more about regional homelessness planning efforts by following the committees below. To provide comment, visit www.azmag.gov, or for more information, use the contacts tab to the right of your screen.

Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care Board

The Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care has worked with a diverse array of partners to develop regional solutions to end homelessness. Each year, the expertise of the Board and community partners has resulted in more people being housed and supported in their quest for stability.

Get Involved
Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care Committee

The Continuum of Care Committee is a collaborative of cross-sector stakeholders providing housing and services to people experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County. The purpose of the Committee is to leverage relationships and diverse expertise to actively advance the broad community goals of preventing and ending homelessness throughout the region.

Human Services and Community Initiatives Committee

The Human Services and Community Initiatives Committee (HSCIC) is primarily focused on incubating solutions that strengthen the region.

Human Services Technical Committee

The main functions of the Committee are to provide technical assistance to the Human Services and Community Initiatives Committee, develop allocation recommendations for the Social Services Block Grant and produce regional human services plans.

Additional MAG Committees Related to Homelessness

In the Media

Below are links to recent news stories about homelessness.

Member Agency Materials

Off the Streets Social Media Toolkit

There are currently no documents associated with this project
Deputy Executive Director
Amy St. Peter
Human Services Planner II
Julie Montoya
Policy Planner IV
Sapna Gupta

About MAG

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is a Council of Governments (COG) that serves as the regional planning agency for the metropolitan Phoenix area.

Title VI

Title VI requires that no person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which MAG receives federal financial assistance.

Get In Touch

  • Address: 302 N. First Ave., Suite 300
    Phoenix, Arizona 85003

  • Phone: 602-254-6300

  • FAX: 602-254-6490

  • Email: mag@azmag.gov

Web Accessibility

The Maricopa Association of Governments is committed to providing the best web experience possible for all users. We continue to make changes to improve the user experience for everyone and apply the relevant accessibility standards as stated in the MAG Web Accessibility Statement.