PHOENIX - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced today that five community organizations from across the state will receive a total of $670,227 in grants from the Attorney General’s Office that will assist at-risk vulnerable populations and homeless adults and families as they work towards self-sufficiency and independence. The grant money will help vulnerable populations including seniors, veterans, and individuals suffering from mental illness or neurocognitive disease with services and essential items including utility and rent assistance, meals, and transportation.
"Too many Arizonans live paycheck-to-paycheck and many of our seniors don’t have enough in their savings to absorb a medical expense or home repair cost,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “High temperatures make this time of year particularly dangerous for vulnerable populations who are struggling to pay their bills or who lack a roof over their heads. Government can’t solve all of society’s inequalities, but partnerships with proven non-profit organizations can help provide a small safety net for low income and struggling individuals.”
The following five organizations were awarded grants:
- Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, Inc. (CCSSA) - The Pima County-based organization was awarded $220,746. CCSSA will provide individuals and families with utility and rent assistance in addition to life-skills and financial management training, as well as referrals to partner agencies when necessary, with an emphasis on seniors 55 and older, mentally disabled individuals, and single mothers with minor children.
- Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) – The Maricopa County-based organization was awarded $250,000. CASS will use the grant money to help individuals and families undergo homeless diversion and rental assistance programs that include one-time financial assistance to address utility payments, deposits, rental costs, and eviction arrears. CASS focuses on seniors 55 and older, individuals with disabilities, single adults, veterans, and families with children.
- Community Action Human Resources Agency (CAHRA) – The Pinal County-based organization was awarded $63,477.
- Cornerstone Mission – The Mohave County-based resource center and shelter was awarded $62,971.
- Old Concho Community Assistance Center – The Apache County-based center was awarded $63,312.
CAHRA, Cornerstone, and Concho were collectively awarded a total of $192,481. The community programs will assist with housing and other essential support services, including prevention, utility and rent assistance, meals, transportation, and referrals to partner agencies where necessary, with a focus on seniors 55 and older. The Department of Economic Security (DES) provided a grant submission on behalf of the three centers.
“As Arizona’s largest and longest-serving homeless emergency shelter, we are truly grateful to Attorney General Brnovich and his leadership for those in need,” said Lisa Glow, Chief Executive Officer for CASS. “This two-year grant will help us address Arizona’s homeless crisis by giving hundreds of people a small hand up to get back into housing or to reunite with family. A wise investment that will allow us to help hundreds of senior citizens, veterans, youth, families, men, and women who have fallen on hard times.”
“This funding will be instrumental to the stability of households we serve,” said Sonia Lopez, Program Manager with CCSSA. “By working with vulnerable participants who are on the brink of homelessness, the program is able to prevent lifelong effects from such a traumatic experience, especially for families with young children.”
“Arizona has seen an upward trend of seniors among the homeless population, which is very concerning to us as the human services agency for the State of Arizona” said DES Director Michael Trailor. “Through this grant, the Arizona Department of Economic Security will be able to provide additional Homeless Prevention services to seniors living in rural Arizona, allowing these residents to remain safely in their homes. We look forward to working with our valued agency partners to serve individuals in Apache, La Paz, Mohave, Navajo and Pinal Counties.”
The two-year grants were awarded via a competitive evaluation process. 21 organizations applied for the grants. The grants are a result of a 2015 joint state settlement between Arizona, 18 other states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Department of Justice with Standard and Poor’s (S&P), resolving claims relating to S&P’s structured finance ratings services as alleged by the Attorney General two years earlier in a consumer fraud lawsuit.
In 2016, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office awarded nearly $3 million of the settlement to multiple grantees to support community-based solutions to assist homeless Arizonans. This final round of grants was awarded from the remaining S&P settlement for additional homeless support programs.