Valley advocate for people experiencing homelessness helps a family at a time with shelter

Aug 25, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: 6:54 am

short term trailer for homeless...

A Valley advocate for people experiencing homelessness is running a short-term shelter that hosts one family at a time, while they secure long-term housing or shelter services. (Balin Overstolz-McNair/KTAR News)

(Balin Overstolz-McNair/KTAR News)

PHOENIX — A Valley advocate for people experiencing homelessness is running a short-term shelter that hosts one family at a time, while they secure long-term housing or shelter services.

The trailer, located at The Social Spin Laundromat on 24th Street immediately south of Loop 202, has working air conditioning, beds, a shower and running water. Austin Davis, with AZ Hugs for the Houseless, received it as a donation from a community member who saw his work.

“It’s basically a trailer we renovated to accommodate one family at a time, experiencing homelessness, while we work with them on a shelter or housing plan,” Davis said in an interview with KTAR 92.3 News FM.

Two families have stayed in it since he began using it as a shelter on July 27.

“First family got into a shelter in two weeks, second family is moving into an apartment this Friday,” he said.

On Saturday, a third family is set to begin their journey toward housing and stability.

Davis said he is receiving more calls for help, specifically from families in need. He said most of the homeless families he sees end up on the streets due to eviction or unforeseen emergencies.

“I see it all the time and I get a lot of calls like this. Couldn’t keep up with the rent or some other circumstance,” Davis said.

Davis also noted families are at a particular risk for homelessness if something bad does happen because parents have a lot of responsibility.

“It’s really easy for things to snowball. Because then you can’t get your kids to school, or you can’t get yourself to work. It just gets worse and worse, one thing after another,” he said.

Davis is also taking donations at the Social Spin Laundry on weekdays, from noon to 6 p.m., at 2418 E Portland St.

“We’re specifically looking for clothing. Adult clothing and kids clothing, along with toys and books. I want to put a rug in there and just other household items. The goal is to make the space as comfortable and home-like as possible,” Davis said.

Davis also believes the community can be another source of stability, housing and service for unhoused people. He calls on Arizonans to help out others.

“Although there are huge gaps in the system, as a community, we can work together and create these grassroots solutions and accommodate immediate needs like this,” he said.

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Valley advocate for people experiencing homelessness helps a family at a time with shelter