Innovation and Impact – How Vital Nonprofits are Transforming through…

Written by Valley of the Sun United Way
Published on Jan 14, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the socioeconomic inequities many students, families and neighbors face daily. The nonprofits serving our vulnerable community members face their own new set of challenges: growing needs and decreasing funds.

In response to their growing demands and urgent needs, we launched the United for the Valley COVID Relief Fund in partnership with the Arizona Community Foundation. We opened a grant application cycle as COVID evolved and awarded almost $1M to 66 programs in a 4-week time frame.

Since then, we’ve granted more than $2.5 million to 74 vital nonprofit partners and the individuals they serve across Maricopa County. Together, we’ve raised nearly $3 million to respond to the most immediate needs in our community, in some cases, granted funds as quickly as 10 days after receiving the agency’s application.

Despite the constant challenges, our resilient partners have met our community’s urgent needs. United, they’ve increased the number of meals, services and shelter beds available to our most vulnerable neighbors challenged by the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Ensuring families and individuals in Maricopa County have a safe place to call home during these turbulent times.

With limited resources and growing needs, our partner nonprofits have amazed us with their creative strategies and courageous efforts. Below is a summary of some of the ways our partner nonprofits are growing their services and expanding their impact in our community.

East Valley Men’s Center added 16 beds to their men’s shelter

Provided services at a local hotel sheltering symptomatic individuals

Renovation made at Steele Common

Opening up a new property on Northern and 27th Avenue

Created some partnerships with the Arizona Department of Housing

Funding provided ongoing COVID testing for all residents

Project Haven shelter opened providing bed space for 65 seniors at risk. Project Haven is a hotel-style facility that offers shelter, three meals a day, a behavioral health organization on-site, RRH case management, and housekeeping that provides services 2x a week.

Funding supported new property in Bullhead serving 57 single vets

Funding supported new property in Sunnyslope serving 14 single women vets

COVID Relief- Since July CBI has been operating five hotels with symptomatic individuals in Mesa and Phoenix. Funding allowed CBI to hire new staff to operate hotels at full capacity while and PPE for all residents and staff

Community Bridges received an increase in TBRA vouchers. TBRA vouchers will provide subsidy for 2 years for vulnerable adults in Mesa at an income-based agreement

Funding supported City Place a program for survivors of domestic violence dealing with substance trauma

Hand In Hand- Jails to homes program increased funding and opportunities for this specific population

Navigators- New programs for services out of county courts, light rail stations, and VA

Bridge Housing- Currently providing bridge housing for 34 individuals in Central City. Needs more funding for bridge housing

Center for Hope- 24 new units for maternity and substance involved mothers. Needs more funding

Funding supported the development of 3 new projects (50 beds in Sunnyslope, 600 affordable units, Stepping Stone expansion for Vets)

Provided case management services for one of Maricopa County’s COVID shelters

Collaboration with other local youth providers and begin creating standards for youth services. Additional funding allowed staff time to focus on streamlining youth bases services

Increase in youth-based housing vouchers

Food- New collaboration with USDA, Waste Not, McKinney Vento all support providing food for clients

Developed curriculum and education around the Arizona Tenants rights

Hired a housing locator to support housing search during a time of saturation in the market

Additional dollars also supported ongoing equity and inclusion trainings for staff and clients while developing a framework for a participatory program design

Received 25 additional units now serving 155 people

Halle Women’s center received an increase of housing vouchers for single women

Food- Budget increased significantly to 45k a month. County contracted UMOM’s Helping Café to provide food for the county’s hotel operations

Staff- Hired 16 new case managers, staff and clients getting COVID testing every 2 weeks, 100k went to increasing pay for direct services workers

Please help us ACTIVATE more innovative solutions in our community with a donation to our COVID-19 Relief and Rebuilding Fund