As the spirit of holiday giving is in full swing, Tempe Community Action Agency is asking for the community’s help to provide key resources for its Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program (I-HELP).
I-HELP operates in partnership with a network of Tempe faith-based organizations, and TCAA is looking for additional local partners that can provide safe overnight sleeping space for men and women experiencing homelessness in Tempe. This may entail opening your facility one night or more per month to accommodate an estimated 40 men and women who are engaged with TCAA to transition out of homelessness.
“For more than 12 years Tempe’s faith community has stepped up to open their doors and hearts to the I-HELP program, and their involvement has helped us to bring an end to homelessness for hundreds of men and women,” said Executive Director of TCAA Deborah Arteaga. “We’re inviting more partners to come forward and join the I-HELP network to help address the increase in homelessness in Tempe. Having these resources will allow I-HELP to shelter more individuals than ever before and lead them in the right path towards regaining self-sufficiency.”
According to City of Tempe estimates, more than 1,000 Tempeans are experiencing homelessness at any point in time. TCAA’s I-HELP is Tempe’s only shelter program, and provides resources for more than 600 men and women each year, including case management, mobile laundry and shower services, shelter facilities, and more. I-HELP’s goal is to not only provide for the immediate needs of adults who are homeless, but to offer resources for finding employment and housing in order to regain self-sufficiency.
Eligible host-sites must have a building with overnight access to restrooms and sinks, safe and adequate air conditioning, and space for 40 to 50 people to sleep comfortably on mats provided by TCAA. Kitchen access is desirable, but not required. The facility space is needed between the hours of 3 PM to 7 AM.
In addition, TCAA is looking for more volunteers to provide meals for individuals enrolled in I-HELP. I-HELP clients receive dinner each night at the shelter site served by teams of community volunteers.
Meal providers are asked to make a nutritional and balanced meal of their choice for up to 50 individuals. TCAA encourages group volunteers to stay at the host-site and serve the meal, though it is not mandatory.
For churches or other organizations interested in serving as a host-site for I-HELP and those who would like to provide a meal to individuals enrolled in the program, please contact Juliet Armstrong-Starkey, Director of Operations, at 480.422.8922 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Tempe Community Action Agency:
Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA)’s mission is to foster dignity and self-reliance for the
economically vulnerable in the communities we serve. We help those who are
struggling to obtain adequate food, shelter, and income supports, as well as seniors and
disabled adults working to attain their highest level of independence. Acting with
financial support from the community we serve, TCAA operates a food pantry, three
senior centers, educational programs, the Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging
Program (I-HELP), healthy families programming, two community gardens, a family
economic advancement initiative, and other projects and programs that serve residents
seeking to improve their quality of life. For more information, please visit tempeaction.org.