INSP Vendor Week

The Numbers Tell Their Own Story

The number of homeless people living without any kind of shelter has almost tripled since 2014, while the number of those living in some sort of shelter has dropped by 1,500. These numbers have increased over 22% just since 2018

7419

# of Phoenix Homeless 2020

3767

average unsheltered every night

3652

in Temporary Shelter

554,000

Homeless in USA

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Shoes, Socks, & Water

Most needed items on for those living on the streets

I have read many articles and seen many ads for socks for the homeless. Some may think why do they need so many socks? Well, I will tell you a few good reasons. Walking everywhere you need to go for services, or a safe place to hide/sleep puts wear and tear on your feet and whatever you have them wrapped in. More often than not it’s ill fitting shoes and worn out socks that are the wrappers for your mode of transportation. You can’t carry around a bag of dirty socks to wash at the laundry mat. Mostly because a lot of laundry mats won’t let homeless people in for one thing and the other is money for wash, detergent, softener, bleach, dryer sheets. How is one expected to purchase and carry these things around with them while looking for housing, a job or other homeless related services.

So the socks get tossed when a new pair comes along and shoes, well those are worn till the holes just take over. That is if you can find a pair of shoes that fit. The most difficult to help are the men who wear size 13, 14 or even 15 shoes. They rarely get donated to programs that distribute shoes. Women who wear size 9, 10 etc also have a hard time finding a good fitting shoe.

Ive seen men wearing flip flops in January because they can’t find a shoe that fits them. As reported on Cronkite News, ill fitting shoes is often mistaken for drunkeness or being high because the person is limping or walking at an odd angle. People assume when they see a homeless person walking down the street wobbling that they are high when the real problem is that their feet hurt.

There are many organizations that distribute clothing, shoes, sox, and other neccessities to the homeless but they are few and far between. When there are special events, (like a church give away) it’s difficult to get the word out as most homeless people don’t watch the news or read the newspaper. Distribution is an issue, but there are a few places I have found that do offer free clothing/shoes and other services. If you are in that special shoe size category, you would be wise to ask as many different places as possible if they could help you find a pair of shoes in your rare sizes. Most of these programs if not all are donation based. Meaning when someone is cleaning out their closet they often donate to one of these programs. This keeps most donations of an average size and do not accomodate the many outliers with other than average needs.

Shoe/Clothing Give Aways

St. Vincent De Paul

I am familiar with a few of them. The first is St. Vincent De Paul, they have a facility in downtown Phoenix -320 Watkins Street – that offers showers (with all the hygiene neccessities) and a change of clothes and shoes if they have them 7 days a week from 7:30am to 6pm. And Yes, that is a terriffic service, but what if you reside in West Phoenix, or West Valley for that matter? 320 Watkins street is not really easy to get to from 35th and Peoria although with all the other services available down there, it could certainly be worth the expedition.

St. Vincent De Paul Resource Center 213 S 11th Ave Phoenix, AZ 85007 (602) 255-0580

Vineyard Church

Closer to the West Valley/West Phoenix area is Vineyard Church and they also offer a food and clothing bank 7 days a week at 63rd Avenue and Peoria. They have morning hours at 9am on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and evening hours on the other days, 7pm Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. But here’s the catch with that one….Their website says “When you arrive, drive to the end of the “waiting vehicle line” by the Compassion Building. Stay in your vehicle. You’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire.” There is no information about what to do if you don’t have a vehicle. I can only assume that they also take walk-ups but I am not sure and it’s not a given. Many places, even those whose purpose is to serve the homeless, do not want homeless people walking in their doors or congregating outside their facilities. So I would suggest call first. I will update this article when I am able to verify their walk up policy. For more information contact Paul Vandernaalt Email or call at 623.934.4000

Andre’ House

Andre House, also Downtown Phoenix, has a clothing distribution service in addition to their many other unique and badly needed services. They offer a place to make a phone call, (like the one that might get back to a home,) They give away Blankets, they have a Laundry service where you drop it off and return to pick up folded clean clothes in a bag. Keep your eyes out for a complete article on who they are and what they have to offer and how to navigate their services.

Clothing Closet at Andre House Distributes free used clothing to adults who are homeless and poor. All services are provided at 213 S. 11th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85007 Lines begin forming at 60 minutes before start of service. André House is closed on Fridays. For more information, call: 602-252-9023 This is really close to CASS so it’s very crowded and there are already a lot of people there that have been there before and know how things work. Don’t be afraid to ask. They really do help quite a few people every day, you just gotta know who to go to and at what time to get the help required.

www.Andrehouse.org

Community Resource Center

Community Resource Center (statewide) looks like they also offer clothing but no specific mention of shoes and they have a few locations around the valley and the state. It looks like they offer food as well as Snap services to get you signed up for EBT Nutrition Assistance plus clothing, hygiene and a job center. Here’s a few of their close by locations but they also serve Yuma and Tucson.

And it looks like the last one on this list is Harvest Compassion Center, part of the Mitchell Swaback minitstries. Their website says:

Harvest

The Harvest Compassion Center is completely free to the public allowing all guests to shop freely for food, hygiene, baby and clothing items. NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY. Each guest is allowed one visit every 30 days and is asked to provide proper identification that states their current home address. Each guest must bring with them their I.D. and also a utility bill.

There are three Harvest Compassion Center locations, please choose to shop at a center that is closest to you. We recommend being in line 15 minutes before closing time to ensure you are served.

HCC North Phoenix
4744 E. Thunderbird Rd., Ste. 9, Phoenix, Arizona 80532
(Tatum and E. Thunderbird, directly behind Spencer’s TV & Appliance Store)

HCC West Phoenix
5608 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix, Arizona
(27th Ave. and Camelback Rd., near the GCU campus)

HCC Maryvale
4002 N. 67th Ave., Phoenix, Arizona 85033
(67th Avenue and Indian School, in the same parking to as Peter Piper Pizza)

Future Resources Directory

I will continue to add more services as I find them and list them in the future Directory of Resources that is planned for The Street Fairy website. Making it easier to navigate resources and find the services that you need with real information about the facility or program to actually get services in the quickest and easiest way possible.

So many of the websites for organizations that provide services are directed to the donors. I am not sure they realize how hard they make it on the person actually needing services to find the neccessarry information, especially when internet time is usually very limited and loading a new page on an “obama phone” can take several minutes. You can not just go to the 211AZ State provided directory and type in shoes to get a list of places that offer shoes.. Hopefully I can build a sufficient directory here.

Looking for ways to help?

If you are interested in donating, I am collecting winter type shoes of any size for men or women to be given out at various places throughout the West Phoenix/West Valley area. I am also collecting Sox of any size or type but tube sox are the most wanted. You can contact me for a drop/off or I can come pick up, whatever works for you. I will be posting on social media and putting out notices when we have enough for a give away. Tomorrow, January 2nd we will be giving away socks, cowboy cookies, bottles of water and fresh ripe oranges to those we come across on the West Side. 35th ave and Peoria, 59thave and Bethany, 27th ave and Northern. Don’t hesitate to contact me to see if I might have what you need.

Mesa Get’s It!

Mesa, Arizona’s Off the Streets Program is producing great results

I have been doing a lot of reading over the last few days, combing over the new Maricopa Associated Governements (MAG) Regional Action Plan for 2022. MAG is collaborating with local governements and municipalities to address the homeless situation from a regional level. During this research I ran across a section of communities showing success on their own and Mesa has a great program “Off The Streets” with a simple plan and with even better results.

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Free Dental Clinic Available Next Weekend

Friday Dec. 10 and Saturday Dec. 11th

The AZMOM – Mission of Mercy – brings back the very popular free dental clinic next weekend. It is being held again at the State Fairgrounds on Mc Dowell and Grand Ave at 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ 85007. They offer all kinds of dental services from basic cleanings and fillings to extractions, root canals and crowns, The gates open at 5am and you can line up in car at the gate and then you will have to line up again once inside. They are not offering the Overnight Camping like they have in past years. The website states that there is no overnight lining up in your car either.

Do’s and Don’t

Do plan on being there all day. If you are not around when they call your name they move on and you lose your place in line. Do plan on being crowded and waiting in one of many cues for the routing of patients. Do expect wonderful care by the ALL VOLUNTEER providers.

Don’t bring your pet. Don’t bring your belongings. They are not allowing large bags inside so you will have to secure your personal belongings elsewhere. Don’t bring a tent or sleeping bags either as they are not going to be allowed inside either.

Don’t bring Firearms, Alcohol or Drugs as they are specifically prohibited on the grounds and inside.

What to Expect Inside

Come prepared for the weather when waiting in line. Have a plan to store your gear (tent, sleeping bag, blankets) while you are in the clinic, as large bags will not be permitted. Once capacity has been reached, the clinic doors will be closed and a sign will be placed outside as notification to others.

Once inside, patients will be seated and given a name tag and a number that corresponds with their place in line. Patients must maintain their place in line, in both the waiting room and clinic, and cannot be gone for a long period of time for any reason. They will be escorted, as necessary, by a volunteer for restroom and smoking breaks. Dental health students will be in the waiting area to talk with every patient about proper oral health care and brushing techniques.

Once they are seated, patients will be given a registration/release form to complete. Note that we will not be checking IDs, and any demographic information collected will only be used in aggregate so that we have statistics about our patient population.

Once they are registered, patients will be taken, in order, to medical triage. Their blood pressure will be taken and questions will be asked to determine that everyone is fit to safely receive dental treatment. From medical triage, they will be escorted to dental triage where a dentist will talk with them about recommended treatment.

After dental triage, patients will be taken to routing, where another dentist will confirm the decision made in dental triage and hand the patient a numbered card that tells the patient their place in line for the appropriate treatment area. Patients, as necessary, will be taken to the x-ray department before they receive treatment.

Once patients have received treatment, they will be escorted, as appropriate, to a post-op area where a dentist or dental student will explain proper post-treatment care and answer any questions. From there, all patients will take a short exit survey and then be escorted back outside.

Each registered patient that is healthy enough to receive treatment is guaranteed one service at CADS MOM. We, unfortunately, may not be able to take care of all of your dental needs, but will do our best to get you out of pain.

Glendale Implements New Program to Help Homeless – Kinda Sorta

If you are homeless in Glendale AZ, Leave!
If you are homeless in Glendale, AZ – Please Leave!

In July, 2021, the city of Glendale, AZ, with a general population of about 250,000 residents, announced a new program to “help homeless.” You will find it on the city website in the news section. Sounds like good news, right? It appears that Glendale Community College was given some cash to run a homeless voucher program. The program provides rental assistance to homeless people residing in Glendale. It’s not just for GCC students but the city would prefer that it go to students first. You have to have a referral to get into the program and GCC students have a contact name and number but any other person in Glendale that is currently without a home has to get their referral from the Coordinated Entry Point at CASS (Central Arizona Shelter Service.)

When you go to the City Of Glendale website under Crisis Assistance Service, you get a couple paragraphs about the new resources they have to offer the homeless and then tell you to go to CASS or click a link for a downloadable PDF of other coordinated entry points for homeless resources of which none are in the city of Glendale.

Homeless are not welcome in Glendale

If you are homeless – Leave! is basically what page says. Going to CASS is not easy. There is no free transportation to get there and it’s over 9 miles away. There’s no posting about the reality of CASS, it’s not like you can just roll up anytime of the day and apply for services. You have to arrive 1st thing in the morning and wait in line for their 7:30 am opening. There is no bathroom services available. You have to walk through tent city to get to the door. Tent City is overwhelmed with drug use and offers of sales. You also have to walk through peoples entire belongings and it’s very uncomfortable.

Once inside, you put your name on a list and if they don’t get to you by noon then you have to come back again the next day and try to get in earlier. It’s painful, degrading, dehumanizing, and often leads to nowhere. If you are lucky enough to get an interview and assesment you will be put on a waiting list. Waiting lists could be up to two years. You just have to keep coming back and checking in to see if your name is up to recieve services.

By the time CASS processes you through their system, the funds from the City of Glendale could be long gone. They only put 1.5 million into the program and most of that went to administrative services so that the city itself doesn’t have to deal with homeless people coming in to apply for services. The city doesn’t want you in their downtown area and redirects you to a remote location if possible.

Is it working?

No one knows if the program is working because the reporting isn’t transparent. You would have to go to GCC and read their budget reports or to New Leaf, their other partner in this scheme. Getting results data is like pulling teeth with scissors. I couldn’t find any resources to provide an update on how the program is functioning let alone providing vouchers.

The long and short of it is this. You MUST go through CASS (or Umom if you’re a family with kids) and follow all of their steps, hoops and jumps and you must do it consistently and persistently to get any services. And pay no attention to the 500+ people ahead of you in line, in tents outside of CASS waiting for the same help. And certainly don’t go back to Glendale, they have made it very clear you are not welcome.

What Are People Saying?

There is lots of talk on the streets!