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Group helping homeless, abused Valley women

The largest shelter for homeless families in Arizona housed more than 6,000 people in 2012.

“Our goal is to break the cycle of homelessness, to end it and get them into housing,” United Methodist Outreach Ministries Chief Development Officer Karen Fletcher told News/ Talk 92.3 KTAR’s Rob & Karie Monday.

The shelter helped an average of 500 families per night and is looking to up that number in 2013.

“Our goal is to break the cycle of homelessness, to end it and get them into housing,” said Fletcher.

UMOM houses about 150 families per night on its main campus. Those families may stay for several months before moving into one of the organization’s 250 housing units around the city.

But homelessness isn’t the only problem UMOM is focused on. They also house more than 50 victims of domestic violence each night along with the victim’s children.

“Our goal with that program is to really to provide a safe haven so that we can then offer them the legal support, case management and help them stabilize and build a plan so they can live free of violence,” said Fletcher.

UMOM has been in the Valley for nearly 50 years and, aside from being the largest in the state, is also one of the most popular.

“We unfortunately have a waiting list but what we do is partner with other services in the community and we know where there is space available on any given day or night,” said Fletcher, adding the waiting list varies between 50 and 75 families nightly.

The organization is working with United Way and several local governments to add more housing for homeless and abused women.