Phoenix motel slated to become facility to house homeless seniors
PHOENIX – A first-of-its-kind facility in the state is in the works to serve homeless seniors in Phoenix.
In late September, the city of Phoenix granted Central Arizona Shelter Services a permit to establish a 130-room shelter out of the former Phoenix Inn located near Interstate 17 and Northern Avenue.
Central Arizona Shelter Services, which has full support from the neighborhood, is currently in the acquisition portion of the process for the property with help from federal funding.
The facility, slated to open next summer, will be known as Project Haven 2. It will be a closed facility, meaning only residents who have been approved to stay will be allowed. There will also be full-time security.
“It’s the perfect kind of location because we’ve had a homeless crisis for some time, so taking a hotel – and repurposing a hotel – is one of the silver linings out of the pandemic,” Lisa Glow, CEO of Central Arizona Shelter Services, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.
Central Arizona Shelter Services is Arizona’s largest and longest-serving homeless shelter.
It has seen the growing need for housing among the senior population and plans to dedicate this new property to those 55 and older for that specific reason.
Glow calls it “the silver tsunami” as older adults are the fastest-growing homeless population in the Phoenix area.
She accredits the lack of affordable housing to housing prices climbing and those on fixed incomes being unable to compete.
The shelter will be able to accommodate at least 170 people with 130 rooms at the facility, meaning an older couple or a parent and child can stay together unlike many shelters.
Glow is proud of the organization’s accomplishments to make the project come to fruition, including entering into a “good neighbor agreement.”
The agreement includes a promise to clean up the area around the new facility, provide 24/7 security and set up a committee with neighborhood leaders to keep them informed about the shelter.
Over the past year, Maricopa County rented the Phoenix Inn to use as a facility to house people experiencing homelessness who tested positive for COVID-19.
Central Arizona Shelter Services uses wrap-around case management and supportive services to stabilize clients, help them find employment and move into permanent housing.
The organization hopes to eventually turn Project Haven 2 into an affordable housing unit.