Each day, at least 400 people in Tempe have no safe place to call home. They include men, women, children, seniors and veterans, and they are homeless.
National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, Nov. 12-20, is a time for us to reflect on the many things for which we are thankful and to share our compassion with our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness and hunger. It is also a time to rededicate ourselves to work toward a community where no one has to experience either of these conditions. Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA) and Downtown Tempe Authority (DTA) are working together to address the root causes of hunger and homelessness and to provide not only needed shelter and food, but also a path to regaining or maintaining financial independence.
TCAA provides Tempe’s only homeless shelter program, serving 40 people a night. The Agency also is home to Tempe’s largest food pantry, distributing 40,800 food boxes annually, and manages emergency rent and utility assistance to keep people in their homes.
Downtown Tempe Authority, in conjunction with its 170+ district businesses, started the #TempeMission program in July, an effort to raise $100,000 to be distributed to five agencies that serve the hungry and homeless in Tempe – TCAA, Salvation Army, Care 7, Community Bridges and Tumbleweed. To date, the program has raised more than $22,500.
There are many ways that you can be part of a solution. Donate to TCAA at www.tempeaction.org; volunteer with the homeless lodging program (I-HELP); or coordinate a food drive to help stock the pantry. Next time you’re downtown, donate via the #TempeMission, purchase a #TempeMission shirt, or buy a Mill Mission beer from several of our bar and restaurant partners. $1 of each beer sold goes the Mission fund.
Together, we can raise awareness of hunger and homelessness in our community and strive to find solutions.