UMOM Announces New Affordable Housing Project

UMOM New Day Centers announces a new affordable housing project generously funded by the Arizona Department of Housing and The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation

Phoenix, AZ (June 24, 2014) – Thanks to the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) and The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, UMOM New Day Centers will undertake a new affordable housing project for at-risk families in Phoenix. On Friday, June 6, ADOH awarded UMOM approximately $9.4 million in financing to build a new housing community. Today, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation announced that it will provide an additional $3 million in funding to support the project.

“The financing from the Arizona Department of Housing and funding from The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation will allow UMOM to continue toward our goal of providing every family in need with an affordable place to live,” said UMOM CEO Darlene Newsom.  “The additional housing units will go a long way to support the ever growing need for affordable housing in our community.”

“Home – a simple word that means so much,” said Renee Parsons. “Yet for thousands of people in our community home doesn’t exist. By partnering with UMOM to build additional affordable housing units, Bob and I believe that we can help inspire hope and be part of a rapid-rehousing solution for homelessness.”

In 2011 UMOM acquired North Mountain Lodge Motel in the Sunnyslope area, located adjacent to one of the organization’s Next Step Housing properties, Casa de Paz Sahuaro Apartments. The investments from ADOH and The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation will allow UMOM to demolish the dilapidated structure and construct 48 brand new one, two and three bedroom affordable housing apartments.

The funds will also support the build-out of a 5,500 square foot community programs service center to support the needs of residents at both properties. The center will provide critical services such as job search assistance, GED tutoring and wellness programs.

On any given day 50 to 75 families are on UMOM’s shelter waiting list and hundreds more seek affordable housing. The 48 additional units will greatly assist UMOM in moving people off the waitlist and into a home. Of the 48 units, at least 34 will be set aside for chronically homeless individuals and families with preference given to Veterans. UMOM anticipates construction to start early next year with occupancy in Fall 2015.

“The idea of standing idle while a waitlist for affordable housing grows is simply not an option,” said Bob Parsons. “There are families in this community who need a leg-up and a second chance at becoming first-class citizens. Renee and I have every intention to help make a long-term difference in the fight to end homelessness in the greater Phoenix area and we believe that UMOM’s new housing community is a great next step.”

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation is a long-time supporter of UMOM New Day Centers. In 2012 the Foundation awarded UMOM $5 million to enable the center to pay off their mortgage on the 7.2 acre main campus, which provides emergency shelter and transitional housing, and dramatically expand the programs and services available.

UMOM’s Mission: to prevent and end homelessness with innovative strategies and housing solutions that meet the unique needs of each family and individual.

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation: The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation inspires hope by providing critical funding at critical times to communities striving to make a difference. The foundation primarily focuses on issues in the greater Phoenix area. The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation believes every person is entitled to an education, good nutrition, medical care, a stress-free, happy environment and the hope that they too, will share in the American Dream. Find out more about the foundation at www.TBRPF.org.

 

Fillmore Playground (2)

50 New Mattresses Donated by Tempur-Pedic and Sleep America

Sleep America and Tempur-Pedic have paired up to donate over 50 beds to UMOM New Day Centers and other local nonprofits. Volunteers from a local veteran program assisted with the project by organizing and loading the mattresses onto the trucks. The new beds were donated to UMOM and other nonprofits at the Sleep America Distribution Center on May 19, 2014.

Sleep America has partnered with UMOM to provide mattresses over the past four years. Recently, Debbie Gaby, President of Sleep America, reached out to Tempur-Pedic to provide additional mattresses. Tempur-Pedic has a nationwide donation program and they were ready to help.

The mattresses will be used in UMOM’s family shelter programs. “We know that a good night sleep can help an individual face and conquer their challenges of ending their homelessness”, says Darlene Newsom, CEO of UMOM New Day Centers.

With 46 locations and 150 employees statewide, Sleep America is the largest mattress retailer in Arizona. Founded by husband and wife team Debbie and Len Gaby, this year Sleep America proudly celebrates sixteen years in business. Since its opening, it has been Sleep America privilege to give back to the community where we live and do business. Through water donations, gift certificates and bed donation programs, Sleep America has given to over 500 different local organizations.

Tempur Sealy International, Inc. (NYSE: TPX) is the world’s largest bedding provider. Tempur Sealy International develops, manufactures and markets mattresses, foundations, pillows and other products.

Kate Thoene and Debbie Gaby at Sleep America Headquarters

Kate Thoene, of UMOM,  and Debbie Gaby, President of Sleep America, at Sleep America Headquarters

Helpings Cafe & Barista Trainee Featured in Arizona Republic

Roberta and Daniel

UMOM resident, Roberta, and her family, were featured in a special Mother’s Day article in a two page spread in the Arizona Republic about Helpings Cafe.

Roberta, her husband Michael, and 19 month old son, Daniel came to UMOM in February after experiencing months of homelessness. Both Roberta and Michael gained skills and experience in the Helpings Barista Training Program and are now getting ready to move into permanent housing.

Learn more about Roberta’s story on AZCentral.

Helpings Cafe Now Open!

Helpings Cafe, Market at Catering by UMOM is now open.

Stop by at 3333 East Van Buren, Monday – Friday between 7am and 3pm.

Operated by UMOM New Day Centers, Helpings Café, Market and Catering is a social enterprise that provides fresh, tasty food while offering job training to individuals in crisis. Proceeds support UMOM’s mission to prevent and end homelessness.

Helpings Café, Market and Catering serves made-from-scratch muffins, gourmet salads and sandwiches and Starbucks coffee drinks, smoothies and refreshers.

The Helpings Barista Training program launched this spring and the trainees are creating specialty drinks from the Starbucks menu. This training, along with the customer service and food preparation training, provides vital job skills and confidence to the community’s most vulnerable population.

The Helpings Market offers fresh, healthy food choices in what is considered a food desert. Along with staples like rice and cereal, Helpings Market will provide fresh produce, grab-and-go sandwiches and salads. The market will accept WIC vouchers and SNAP benefits.

Proceeds from Helpings Café, Market and Catering are directly re-invested into UMOM programs to end homelessness.

It has been a community effort to launch this project, with support from many individuals and organizations. Thank you the JP Morgan Chase Foundation, for a grant that made this enterprise possible. “Chase is gratified to see UMOM translate our philanthropic support into action through the wonderful Helpings Café and market,” said Gus Charara, Executive Director for J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank  and Board member of UMOM.   “The Café not only will provide healthy food opportunities but also trains and prepare people for jobs, helping to break the cycle of homelessness.”

 

Housing First For Families

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/.

Turn those speakers up and listen to CBS feature UMOM and the McDowell Mountain Music Festival!

Turn up those speakers and listen as Vicky Carmona from CBS interviews UMOM’s Chief Develpment officer Karen Fletcher. They discuss what UMOM is all about, our programs and services, how you can get involved, how you can volunteer and much more! The interview also highlighted the upcoming McDowell Mountain Music Festival (MMMF), taking place March 22, March 23 and March 24.

To hear the entire interview, click here.

UMOM is excited to be a beneficiary of MMMF 2013. For tickets please click here. For more information on the event and to download and informational flyer, click here.

UMOM Featured in Arizona Commercial Real Estate Publication!

Arizona Commercial Real Estate highlighted UMOM and the McCarthy Heart Hats Team, who completed an in-kind playground project for UMOM New Day Centers Fillmore property. McCarthy removed old sand from the play area (which was attracting unwanted cats), installed a new playground surface, painted the basketball court and ramada, installed a watering system and planted new vegetation. To read the full article, click here.

Publication Update!

We have updated the publication section of our website! Head on over to check out our Community Impact Report. It contains updated facts and figures on our shelter programs, affordable housing, supportive services, demographics and a full financial summary.

UMOM a Finalist for the 2013 IMPACT Award!

The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce just announced that UMOM is a finalist for this year’s Impact Awards! The Impact Awards honors the accomplishments of businesses and the impact they’ve made on the Greater Phoenix business community.  The final awards ceremony will be held this May. We are very honored to have been recognized in this way and to be standing alongside the other agencies in our award category who also do amazing work in the community alongside us.