2022 I-HELP Community Thrives Challenge
TCAA’s mission is to foster dignity and self-reliance in the economically vulnerable within the communities we serve. Our mission is carried out through programs and strategies that promote housing security, hunger relief, senior independence, healthy families, financial stability, and volunteer engagement. TCAA is Tempe’s largest social service agency in terms of the volume served and breadth of programs. Most services offered by TCAA are not offered by any other local organization. TCAA operates Tempe's largest hunger relief effort, the sole Homeless Shelter, the city's only Community Action Program (rent/utility assistance), in-home care and nutritious meals for seniors, and Financial Opportunity Center. TCAA also serves as the East Valley provider of Health Start (pre/post-natal services) and manages two community gardens. These programs collectively serve more than 27,000 seniors, adults, and children--up from 22,000 in FY18. This volume is equal to 1 in 7 Tempe residents.
I-HELP (Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program) Shelter
Homelessness is a continuing crisis affecting Tempe residents, agencies, businesses, government, and the people who personally experience this difficulty. Homelessness remains Tempe’s top human service priority and adversely impacts community health and well-being while placing extreme demand on limited public and private resources.
The City of Tempe recently reported that homelessness is a crisis nationally and regionally. Regionally, there has been an 83% increase in unsheltered homelessness from 2017 to 2020, according to Tempe’s annual Point-in-Time (PIT) count. During that same time frame, Tempe experienced a 96% increase in unsheltered individuals (City, 2021). These include people living on the streets, in cars, and in local parks. Homelessness is not a new issue in Tempe; however, it has remained a chronic one for several years. In fact, today, Tempe is the city with Arizona’s second largest homeless population.
Being homeless anywhere is extremely difficult; in the Valley; homelessness can be deadly. In the summer, concrete benches can reach 135 degrees and pavements can get as hot as 160 degrees, making sitting down and walking extremely difficult. In the winter, temperatures can dip below freezing. Yet, each day, unsheltered adults must find the energy to secure food, water, and respite from the elements.
The I-HELP model serves as a cost-effective and scalable solution for ending homelessness. The program has been replicated many times and uses several best practices to improve the economic status and self-sufficiency of homeless men and women, effectively preparing them for transitioning from homelessness to a permanent home.
Within the I-HELP Shelter, men and women can access the help they need to overcome barriers to living independently in a home of their own. The program provides safe overnight sleeping facilities, daily meals, intensive case management, access to laundry and shower resources, healthcare services, help to secure public benefits and identification documents, employment assistance, and housing location services.
HOW YOU CAN HELP TODAY
Sponsor one man or woman as they journey from homelessness to independence: $800
The I-HELP shelter program not only provides a safe place to sleep, but also a spectrum of life-changing services to prepare men and women for employment, financial stability, and permanent housing. Take advantage of the Arizona charitable tax credit at the same time!
Sponsor one night of shelter and additional services for a man or woman in need: $35
Your help is needed to ensure that people who are homeless have a safe alternative to life on the street. Last year the I-HELP Shelter program assisted 372 adults, but sadly, close to 200 others who wanted help were turned away due to the program's limited capacity.