ARIZONA NEWS

Tempe purchases 2nd motel to continue fighting homelessness

Apr 30, 2024, 4:25 AM

Apache Inn was purchased by the city of Tempe to help fight homelessness in the city. (City of Temp...

Apache Inn was purchased by the city of Tempe to help fight homelessness in the city. (City of Tempe photo)

(City of Tempe photo)

PHOENIX — The city of Tempe purchased a second motel to further its efforts to fight homelessness, the city announced Monday.

Apache Inn, near Apache Boulevard and McClintock Drive, has 58 rooms and an adjacent vacant lot that the city purchased for $10.7 million, with county funds getting the city $7.3 million and the rest coming from the American Rescue Plan Act and other sources.

“Our goal in Tempe is to make homelessness rare, brief and one-time, and that means continually enhancing and expanding our strategies,” Tempe Mayor Corey Woods said. “We have decreased homelessness by more than 30% in the past year and this new shelter will significantly bolster our efforts.”

Apache Inn will begin serving Tempe’s homeless population in early 2025, and it utilizes individual living over congregated living to help transition homeless people off the streets permanently.

“Mayor Woods and the Tempe City Council have made it a top priority to address homelessness, but meaningful action requires collaboration at every level of government,” said Rep. Greg Stanton, whose office provided $500,000 in funds for the purchase. “I was proud to go to bat in Washington to bring home half a million dollars to increase shelter options, a much-needed addition to our broader strategy to combat homelessness.”

The city first purchased a transition hotel in 2021: the 40-room Sue’s Espacio, which is located east of Apache Inn.

Between the two motels, Tempe can utilize up to 98 rooms where residents typically stay about 30 days at a time.

During their stay, social workers on hand help residents secure long-term housing solutions, such as moving into their own apartment, moving back in with family or to a more advanced treatment facility.

Residents also have access to the Tempe Works program during their stay, as well as healthcare and veteran services.

“Those wraparound services are really vital for our residents. Providing a safe haven is our first priority but then we need to tailor resources to their individual needs as they plan for the future,” Community Health and Human Services Director Tim Burch said.

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Tempe purchases 2nd motel to continue fighting homelessness