ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix to add 790 new shelter beds to help people experiencing homelessness in 2024-25

Jun 13, 2024, 9:52 AM | Updated: 12:32 pm

PHOENIX — Officials are ramping up their efforts to address homelessness in the city of Phoenix.

Nearly 800 new permanent shelter beds are set to open in 2024 and 2025, officials announced on Wednesday.

It’s a sharp spike from the 482 temporary indoor shelter beds added in 2023, according to Rachel Milne, who directs the city of Phoenix’s Office of Homeless Solutions.

“All of the beds opened in 2023 were intended to be temporary and to help bridge a needed gap as we complete construction on several projects,” Milne said.

The six projects that will add more shelter beds to Phoenix are in various stages of construction, she added.

“We will see several projects opening and adding an additional 790 permanent beds to our shelter system as we phase out the temporary beds from 2023,” Milne said.

Milne shared detailed plans with city officials during an economic development and housing subcommittee meeting on Wednesday.

Phoenix Navigation Center in west Phoenix to offer job assistance

The first of those six projects is a city-owned shelter and navigation center that will bring 280 new beds to Phoenix. City officials refer to it as the Phoenix Navigation Center. The shelter near 67th Avenue and Van Buren Street will help adults with no minors.

“The city is planning on opening this site in a phased approach, with the first half of the beds coming onboard this July,” Milne said.

The shelter will consist of two tent-like, air-conditioned “sprung structures” as well as four XWings, which refers to converted shipping containers that are connected to create an X shape. This video from the city of Phoenix shows what XWings look like in action.

“The site will have a workforce and employment focus. Those services will be provided by the city of Phoenix and St. Vincent de Paul,” Milne said.

People can bring their pets with them. There’s plenty of space for private property and there are also units where partners can cohabitate instead of being separated into male and female dorms.

More shelters to address homelessness crisis opening this summer

In addition to the upcoming west Phoenix shelter, another project is set to open in July: the De Paul Manor.

St. Vincent de Paul will own this 100-bed shelter, which will have an on-site animal clinic to take care of the pets of people experiencing homelessness. On top of that, it will have a workforce development program to help residents find employment.

“The city of Phoenix, Maricopa County and the Arizona Department of Housing each invested $6 million to this project,” Milne said. “A true regional collaboration.”

Another 100-bed shelter will debut this summer. The CBI North Mountain Healing Center will partially open near Peoria and 25th avenues in July.

This shelter will have workforce development programs, along with mental health treatment and physical health services. People experiencing homelessness who live in this shelter can also take advantage of services like counseling and peer support. There will also be a recreation center.

Other projects to address homelessness by adding more beds

Officials expect the CASS Haven Senior Center to open this September. It will open up 170 beds for people aged 55 and older. The shelter was formerly a hotel near Interstate 17 and Northern Avenue.

“The Arizona Department of Housing provided CASS with funding to purchase the hotel, and the city has been funding the conversion from hotel into shelter,” Milne said.

She also announced another project expected to wrap up this year.

“The city is investing in UMOM’s family shelter campus, the largest family shelter in Arizona,” Milne said. “The city is helping UMOM rehabilitate an underutilized office building into 20 new shelter units.”

The project will create 80 new beds for families.

Lastly, Milne gave an update on a Salvation Army family shelter project.

“The city has dedicated funding to construct a new building on the Salvation Army’s family service shelter campus,” Milne said.

Officials expect the new Salvation Army family shelter to open in 2025. It will add 60 new family beds to the nonprofit’s campus near Van Buren and 24th streets.

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Phoenix to add 790 new shelter beds to help people experiencing homelessness in 2024-25