The point in time survey conducted on January 23, 2018 by the Maricopa Association of Governments Continuum of Care Regional Committee on Homelessness counted 30,238 individuals facing housing insecurity; either living homeless on the streets or in shelters.

The causes and factors that lead to homelessness are complex; however, there are consistent, identifiable, and contributing factors for both individuals and families in urban and rural communities. Conditions such as physical and behavioral health issues, domestic violence, and substance abuse contribute to homelessness. Diverse strategies, approaches and coordination like those facilitated by The Salvation Army are necessary to assist individuals experiencing homelessness to regain their independence.

The Salvation Army Metro Phoenix Emergency Family Shelter is a 120-day work program, which enables families to get back on their feet and learn skills that will help them cope with crises in the future. Using an empowerment philosophy, families who have experienced crises such as eviction or loss of a job are assisted in gaining employment, meeting targeted goals, and developing positive family dynamics.

Clients in this program must adhere to strict requirements. They must remain drug-free and sober during their stay, attend case management sessions, life skills classes, and substance abuse or mental health therapy. Additionally, they must meet regularly with the employment specialist, find employment within a specific time frame, and save 60% of any incoming money. This structure assists clients in becoming responsible and accountable for themselves and their families. The Family Crisis Center staff takes pride in our program.

The stability provided by the program also allows children to thrive as they experience knowing where they will eat, sleep, and have a consistent opportunity to bond with their parents, possibly for the first time. Many of the children have moved so frequently that they live in a constant state of stress and chaos. In addition to attending the same school regularly, they are able to participate in a structured after-school program.