UMOM is proud to be a part of the 100,000 Homes Campaign! Together with other partner agencies we are implementing a plan to house chronically homeless individuals and families. UMOM has committed 25 units to house the most vulnerable families and so far this month three families have signed leases to move into permanent housing.
With all of our housing interventions, UMOM has identified a gap for families needing more than two years of transitional housing due to permanent disabling conditions other than a diagnosis of a Serious Mental Illness. Currently, there are no permanent supportive housing options for such families. Frequently, these families experience multiple episodes of homelessness. UMOM New Day Centers is opening 25 units of permanent supportive housing for disabled homeless families with dependent children.
The program will provide 20 two-bedrooms and 5 three-bedrooms units to serve 25 families exiting homelessness.
UMOM’s goal is to provide an environment where the families can be the most successful. The units are located around the valley so that the participants can identify a home near his/her natural supports. We want them to have access to transportation, family, employment, medical care, and quality schools that they are comfortable with.
UMOM hired two Family Support Specialists to provide intensive support services to ensure the basic needs of all family members are met and that the families do not return to homelessness. Families qualifying for this program will have ongoing service needs, and we believe our Family Support Specialists will be key to keeping them stably housed.
Support services will include regular and frequent contact with the Family Support Specialists to help families facilitate school enrollment and attendance, child care options, referrals to counseling and treatment, recovery activities and support groups, food security, health insurance, job skills training, employment search, parenting classes and support groups, and meaningful connections within the community.
We could not do this on our own. UMOM recognizes the importance of leveraging resources and working with other agencies in the community. UMOM is partnering with HOM, Inc. for the Housing First for Families program. HOM, Inc. has a network of over 400 landlords throughout Maricopa County that participate in permanent supportive housing programs, providing numerous quality housing opportunities for families.
This program will help mothers like Sierra, a 22 year old single parent, who left home at the age of 16. She has 5 children under age 8, one who is severely disabled. With many evictions, the family didn’t have a stable home for two years prior to coming to UMOM. Sierra has been a victim of domestic violence, and also suffers from depression. Now in recovery, she has been battling substance abuse for years.
Earning an income is difficult for Sierra. She has no GED and she is unable to work due to her child’s disability. Housing support through the Housing First for Families program will provide Sierra with a safe, permanent housing solution, where she has the support to help her family. This new program will be life-changing for Arizona’s most vulnerable families.
In addition to providing housing support, UMOM is collecting furnishings and household items so families have the necessities they need to be successful. If you are interested in donating items, gift cards or would like to make a monetary contribution to this project, please call 602-275-7852 or visit http://www.umom.org/get-involved/donate/.