PHOENIX, Ariz. (June 8, 2021): Mike McQuaid always believed that “homelessness is a solvable problem.”
Beginning with his days serving meals at the Andre House 35 years ago to the formation of the Human Services Campus (HSC) in 2005 that grew out of his vision for a single location offering a range of holistic, wrap-around services to end homelessness, Mike McQuaid’s impact has not diminished.
Nor has the legacy he left behind after succumbing to COVID-19 last summer.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Mike,” said Human Services Campus Executive Director Amy Schwabenlender. “And, I know I’m not the only one whose life he not only touched but changed for the better. His passion, leadership, commitment and unparalleled drive to end homelessness continue to guide all of us who work everyday to bring his vision to reality.”
To ensure that Mike’s vision is sustained and fully realized, the Human Services Campus is launching the Mike McQuaid Legacy Fund, a three-year initiative with a goal of $25 million. Funds will be used to address the issue of homelessness through a combination of tactics including, but not limited to, street outreach, client services improvements and expansion and capital projects including the renovation of the building that was the former Men’s Overflow Shelter, which closed several years ago.
HSC Development Director Steve Davis said the initiative is nearing the halfway point in fund-raising pledges and actual donations with commitments that include a Garcia Family Foundation $10 million pledge to be paid $1 million a year for 10 years.
“Mike was instrumental in the formation of this campus and he brought the community together as a compassionate and economic response to end homelessness,” Davis said. “Mike was the driver and through his leadership and the collaborative efforts of so many others, we know what works. We also know we need more shelter beds, a substantial increase in affordable and permanent supporting housing, and a regional strategy to end homelessness because our entire community has a responsibility to solve the issue of homelessness.”
According to the most recent Point in Time Count, the annual census of unsheltered and sheltered homeless in Maricopa County, more than 7400 individuals are homeless on any given night, more than half living unsheltered.
“Mike’s vision was broad-based,” Davis said. “From adding much-needed shelter beds to street outreach targeting the hardest to serve and a regional expansion of holistic, collaborative services, that vision is the foundation for projected outcomes of this initiative.”
Among the expected outcomes:
• By 2023: no one sleeping on the street outside the Human Services Campus and beautification of the campus neighborhood.
• By 2024: renovating and expanding existing campus structures to serve more clients, more efficiently. There are three buildings that can be renovated to expand services, add employee and client multi-purpose rooms for trainings, collaborative meetings and more.
• By 2030: reduce the average stay on the campus by 50%; reduce recidivism to homelessness by 30%; increase the number of individuals housed annually from 2,500 to more than 3,000 through collective partner programs; and provide resources for more services in west and east valley communities.
Interested donors can make one-time gifts or multi-year pledges to the initiative by contacting Davis at [email protected]or by calling 602-705-4719.
For more information about the Human Services Campus visit www.hsc-az.org.