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.
The “Off The Streets” initiative combines outreach and social media to get the information about resources to the most vulnerable where they are at.
In the first 16 months @CityofMesa’s Off the Streets program served 983 people with 330 of those graduating into more stable housing. Krystal, a program graduate, shares her personal story. Right here on YouTube Krystals Story #CommunityBridgesAz.
They have a very simple action plan and good community partnerships to implement the programs that have funding. This is from their website:
- Protect vulnerable individuals form contracting and spreading COVID-19
- Provide an immediate, safe place to live, sleep and be around more positive influences
- Deliver tailored social and health services to each person, help them stabilize and become emotionally and physically ready to commit to further recovery
- Based on readiness, transition participants to their next level of housing, eventually leading toward self-sufficient permanent housing
It seems to me that the more simple the action plan is the faster and easier it is to get results that truly impact the growing numbers of homeless on our streets. The new MAG Regional Action Plan has some great ideas but it is very ADMIN heavy and puts much more focus on gathering data than it does actually reaching the unhoused and meeting their needs where they are at.
If you are homeless in Mesa – You have a good chance of getting some help based on the resources they have available and seem more than willing to provide. This is in contrast to other cities who wish to sweep the homeless under the rug and not address the issuess that are so visibly present in their communities. Their websites don’t offer resources or even worse they just refer you to CASS.
So Kudo’s to Mesa for getting it right and making a real impact on the numbers of those sleeping on the streets of their town. I think other cities might want to take a look at how simple their program is and maybe reconsider the extra add on layers of administration before you get to an actual housing placement.