Our community is experiencing a homelessness crisis with an estimated 13,500 Arizonans living without a place to call home. By the year 2025, St. Vincent de Paul will move 2,025 of those people into permanent housing.
That goal is a 20% increase in St. Vincent de Paul's permanent rehousing rate and a commitment to meeting this moment of immense need with urgency, skill and compassion. Our team embarked on this goal in October 2022, in alignment with the beginning of our fiscal year.
Housing 2025 focuses on three things:
- Moving people into permanent housing (not shelter, not transitional housing, not temporary housing). We are moving people HOME.
- Increasing SVdP’s permanent rehousing rate by 20%. While we work on all kinds of rehousing, this goal looks to increase specifically permanent rehousing so that people are less likely to return to homelessness.
- Offering the community a shared goal to rally around and inviting people to do their part in helping address the homelessness they see.
St. Vincent de Paul moves people home every day
Our programs implement a proven framework that successfully gets people off the street and into housing. And we do it with kindness and through the belief that nothing is impossible if we put our minds, determination and resources to it.
SVdP rehouses people through...
Named after the founder of St. Vincent de Paul, Ozanam Manor is our transitional housing program with 60 beds for seniors, veterans and adults with disabilities–a population that continues to fall into homelessness as fixed incomes struggle to keep pace with medical needs and rising costs. A dormitory-style shelter, each resident has their own bed and dorm area while living in community. They participate in group activities, have access to life courses, volunteer and meet one-on-one with case managers to work toward independent living, stabilizing health and moving into a home of their own.
With 200 beds, the Washington Street Shelter serves as a pipeline to housing with intense wraparound services to end homelessness in its direct neighborhood and downtown. Each resident’s bed is their own until they secure housing. Open day and night, the shelter provides three meals a day, showers and basic needs, while also connecting residents to case management, mental health support, substance abuse services, as well as workforce readiness and volunteering opportunities. The program welcomes people ready and willing to get off the street and rediscover stability and life as a productive citizen again.
St. Vincent de Paul has the distinction of being a leading partner in opening and operating The Washington Street Shelter, which is set to be the model on which additional Valley pocket shelters will be based as the City of Phoenix and Maricopa County aim to decentralize homelessness services.
In the middle of homelessness, it can feel overwhelming not knowing next steps and who to trust as individuals and families try to regain housing. Our Resource Center's Social Work Services team offers care and case management to help individuals and families find their path off the street. With a dedicated case manager and wraparound services, the Social Work Services team helps identify barriers and motivates people to work toward achievable goals. They provide connection to mental health resources and trauma support as well as financial assistance with application fees, deposits, bill and rent payments. Whatever it takes to get someone housed, the Social Work Services team is ready to help people exit homelessness for good.
Our dining rooms serve more than just a hot meal. They present an opportunity for us to work with individuals to address some of the core issues preventing them from regaining house. By bringing a multitude of wraparound services to each of our different dining room locations, our dining room staff is able to work with individuals to address mental health, substance abuse, workforce development obstacles and so much more to help offer people hope and a real chance at getting off the street.
Paying for a move in...it's complicated
When St. Vincent de Paul talks about rehousing people, we often share about a person's progress toward stability and how we help move people into their new home summing up the finances part with "their deposit and rent was paid." People might imagine it's as easy as SVdP cutting a single check and handing it to the landlord or person/family we're rehousing.
Behind the scenes is a dizzying process of puzzle-piecing together enough money from different funding sources to meet the higher-than-normal move-in costs. It's a lot of "hurry up and wait."
Here are some factors at play
- Overcoming history - Many of the people we're attempting to rehouse come with a rental history that landed them on the street in the first place (usually a past eviction). To get them back into housing often means paying increased deposits and 1-3 months of rent in advance so landlords feel confident leasing to them.
Restricted vs. Unrestricted Funding - With different sources of funding come different requirements (or restrictions) to use that funding to help rehouse people. Unrestricted funding is open to SVdP's discretion and most helpful to individuals who don't check all the boxes to meet restricted funding.
Restrictions can include by are not limited to:
- Earmarking (designated for specific utilities, rent assistance only)
- Demographics (single parent of single income)
- Circumstances (length of time homelessness, proof of pandemic-related eviction)
- Amount limits (only up to $1,500 per case, for example)
- Documentation (proof of ID, a signed lease, pay stubs)
- Multiple pots of money - Life is rarely so clean cut. Each person comes to us almost always has needs that can't be met entirely by restrictive funds. SVdP first applies restrictive funding where possible, then turns to multiple other funds to pay for remaining expenses.
Fact: On average it costs SVdP $3,200 in move-in costs per rehousing case.
Housing Market Competition: Sometimes landlords can't or won't wait for the lengthy restrictive funding process and decide to move on to the next potential renter.
What Happens While People Wait? Usually, individuals or families stay on the street, at a shelter, or in their car. Hotel or motel stays are often out of reach financially. If they're lucky, they might have a friend or family member who puts them up for the couple of weeks it may take to get restrictive funding dispersed.
Support our Housing 2025 effort
Here's your chance to help and be a part of the solution. Every dollar donated goes toward moving people out of homelessness and into their own home.
We can end homelessness in our community one person at a time.
St. Vincent de Paul knows what works. We execute our rehousing strategy every day and do it well. We have the willpower, knowledge and skill to address this crisis. We simply need the funding and the community partners to make it happen.
Support our Housing 2025 efforts
Donate to help SVdP get 2,025 people into housing by 2025
HOMELESSNESS IN ARIZONA
Point-in-Time Homelessness Count
Every January, Maricopa County Association of Governments conducts the Point-in-Time (PIT) Homelessness Count of all those living on the street and in shelter to determine the number of people experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County during a given point in time. While it is impossible to count every person, especially those couch surfing, it does provide a snapshot of homelessness in our community. The PIT Count happens each January and results of the count are expected in the summertime.
There was a 23% increase in Arizona's homeless population in 2022 according to a December U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report.
The state is short 270,000 housing units, according to the Arizona Department of Housing. A scarcity of affordable housing, paired with Arizona’s booming population growth, has been driving up rental prices and forcing people out of their homes.
Phoenix's median rent increased 46% in 2022 over the previous year according to national data. At the time of the report, the median rental price in Phoenix was $2,350, increasing more than $700 over the preceding year.
There are 375,000 Arizonans with an annual income of $25,000 or less, meaning they can afford to pay only $625 per month for rent and utilities without being cost-burdened, according to the Arizona Department of Housing.
Latest Local Headlines
- Arizona's new budget allocates $150 million for providing affordable housing
- Seniors are flooding homeless shelters that can’t care for them
- 'The Zone': Here's what you should know about Phoenix's cleanup plan for the homeless encampment
- The first block of 'The Zone' is getting cleaned and cleared. Here's what next
- Behind the numbers on the Valley's growing homeless population
- Three evictions, three stories. Why the Phoenix area eviction crisis is only getting worse
Stories of progress...
SVdP opens new "City Center" shelter in downtown Phoenix
With 52 beds for residents on path to self-sufficiency, City Center will free up beds at SVdP's emergency-level shelter on Washington St.
From surviving to thriving
Beautician Natalie Adams found her way off the street and back into housing thanks to Washington St. shelter
Stay up to date on our Housing 2025 goal
Get the whole picture in a monthly update on our progress and learn about homelessness in our community.