ASU commits $135,000 for Tempe homeless outreach team in university area

Dec 29, 2021, 4:35 AM
(Facebook Photo/City of Tempe Government)...
(Facebook Photo/City of Tempe Government)
(Facebook Photo/City of Tempe Government)

PHOENIX – As part of its ongoing efforts to combat homelessness, Tempe is creating a two-person outreach team dedicated to the Arizona State University area.

ASU committed $135,000 in funding for the positions for fiscal year 2021-22. The hires will increase the size of Tempe’s homeless outreach team to 11.

The team is part of the East Valley suburb’s Homeless Outreach Prevention Effort (HOPE) program.

“Arizona State University takes fundamental responsibility for the communities we serve and the challenge of homelessness is one that is shared throughout the region and which all public institutions must come together to address,” ASU President Michael Crow said in a press release Tuesday.

“We believe the HOPE program provides constructive, engaged and meaningful support to our homeless neighbors and we want to be supportive in expanding it.”

Tempe has been growing its homeless outreach program since hiring its first specialist in 2016.

The city recently brought in Jessica Wright, formerly of UMOM New Day Centers, for the role of homeless solutions manager.

Starting in January, the HOPE team will be available seven days a week, up from five.

Under the city’s new homeless outreach strategy, team members will be assigned to set geographic areas: East, West, North and ASU/downtown.

In addition, a team will be assigned to Tempe’s non-congregate transitional shelter. A HOPE specialist also will continue working with police officers who are part of Chief Jeffrey Glover’s community policing office.

“This new strategy will maximize our coverage and help us assist more unsheltered individuals and families, while also providing a consistent presence in neighborhoods, city parks, business areas and other parts of the city,” Mayor Corey Woods said in the release.

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ASU commits $135,000 for Tempe homeless outreach team in university area