Hands of Promise Hosts $5,000 Matching Campaign for Giving Tuesday!

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Come together with UMOM for Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29! We need your help to give homeless families a second chance and make this the best global day of giving yet.

It’s easier than ever because this Giving Tuesday, your gift counts twice! Hands of Promise has made a promise to match donations to UMOM dollar-for-dollar up to $5,000. We’re so thankful for their generosity. Let your giving go twice as far this year! We’ll also go live on Facebook with our CEO, Darlene Newsom and CPO, Mattie Lord in the morning for about an hour to discuss our life changing programs and services. Tune in to learn about your impact on UMOM!

Giving Tuesday is a global day of charity and philanthropy that started in 2012. It was created to follow and counteract the consumerism and commercialization found in Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The movement raised more than a $100 million for nonprofits worldwide in 2015, and gets bigger every year.

Make a difference in the life a homeless family and donate to UMOM this Giving Tuesday!


Shop Sportiqe During National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week!

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National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is Nov. 12 – 20. The week is designed to raise awareness of and take action against our ongoing homeless crisis. This is a time for us all to start thinking about what we are thankful for, share compassion with our neighbors and work toward a world where no one has to experience hunger and homelessness. There’s no better time to support the cause and help those facing homelessness—and look good while doing it.

Tempe-based apparel company Sportiqe is generously donating 20 percent of its sales earned through the Sportiqe website during the entire week of Nov. 12 – 20 to UMOM in honor of National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week.

Specializing in comfy basics and athletic leisure clothing, Sportiqe has a following amongst celebrities, sports fans and everyday folks alike.

National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week started in 1975 at a single university. This year, more than 700 schools and community groups will raise awareness and aid those who are homeless.

You can help too! Do good for the hundreds of families experiencing homelessness in UMOM’s care and look good at the same time! Shop at Sportiqe for all your athletic and leisure apparel to support UMOM during National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, Nov. 12 – 20.


DELIA’s Cleaners Winter Wear Drive for UMOM

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UMOM, Arizona’s largest provider of services for homeless families, is partnering with DELIA’s Cleaners, Arizona’s largest dry cleaner, to help keep homeless families warm!

Please drop off new and gently used winter wear at any of DELIA’s Cleaners’s 19 Valley locations to help homeless families. They’ll process your donations and deliver them straight to UMOM. We’ll then distribute your generous gifts to families in need.

What kinds of winter items are we looking for?

  • Coats and jackets
  • Sweaters
  • Pants
  • Boots
  • Hats
  • Blankets
  • And more!

  • DELIA’s Cleaners will be accepting donations on behalf of UMOM for the months of November, December and January.

    Warm the hearts (literally!) of our families.


    Rapid Re-housing : A UMOM Case Study

    rrh-infographic-umomUMOM tracked a large number of households enrolled in rapid re-housing services from 2010 to 2015, and as October 2015, 93% of those identified households had not re-entered emergency shelter services. 

    UMOM New Day Centers has been able to document that for a large sample of families participating in the agency’s rapid re-housing program only 7% re-entered emergency shelter services during a span of more than 5 years.

    Interventions for individuals and families experiencing homelessness vary in type, length and intensity.  For providers, identifying those programs that result in the best chance for stable, permanent housing is critical.  One such program available is rapid re-housing.  To understand the impact of rapid re-housing services, UMOM tracked a large number of households enrolled in rapid re-housing through both their agency and subcontractors from 2010 to 2015.  As of October 2015, 93% of those identified households had not re-entered the system.

    With this kind of success, it begs the question, what is happening in Maricopa County?  And even more important to providers across the state and nationally, what can we learn and how can this work be replicated and expanded?

    Download the Full Case Study

    Prepared for UMOM New Day Centers by Kristin Borns, Borns Solutions AZ



    Early Childhood Homelessness in the United States

    In partnership with National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, UMOM was pleased to have participated in a U.S.Congressional Briefing on Early Childhood Homelessness. UMOM’s very own Kresta Horn, Director of Children and Youth Services, spoke eloquently with members of Congress of the imminent need for quality early education programs for young children experiencing homelessness. Every day UMOM’s Child Development Center helps to ensure children are getting the support and tools they need to succeed in the classroom and in life.

    Read the full article below:

    Early Childhood Homelessness in the United States
    By Patrick Fisher, Public Affairs Specialist, Office of Communications


    On March 30, I had an opportunity to attend a briefing which helped inform a group of congressional staff members on the plight of children in our federally funded homeless shelters. As a member of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) communications staff, I was there to both observe and to gather information about government support for these young children. One of the panelists briefing was Linda Smith, who is the deputy assistant secretary of Early Childhood Development (ECD) for ACF.

    What I heard from Linda and others at the briefing was that supporting homeless children and their families is and should be something that is of utmost importance to state and federal government officials and to us as individuals.

    This briefing provided an overview of early childhood homelessness, including available federal data as summarized in “Early Childhood Homelessness: A 50 State Profile,” recently released by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary, Early Childhood Development. Panelists described local and state innovations in increasing homeless children’s access to quality early childhood programs, as well as the remaining challenges they face. Linda discussed steps that have been taken to remove barriers to early childhood programs, including CCDF, Head Start, and technical assistance activities.

    Sadly, more than half of all children in federally funded homeless shelters are under the age of six.  This has considerable meaning because research shows children’s early years set the foundation for learning, health and wellness needed for success.

    Experiencing homelessness in early childhood is problematic for a number of reasons including:

    • Homeless children have lower birth weights and experience higher levels of childhood illness.
    • Homelessness puts children at risk of poor early development and educational well-being.
    • Trauma and extreme stress in childhood can lead to detrimental changes in brain structure and function.
    • Mothers experiencing homelessness have a higher rate of depression, severe traumatized history and post-traumatic stress disorder.

    It is vitally important we ensure young children who are homeless have access to high- quality early learning programs that can improve their educational and life experiences.  We know that quality early child care and education has a positive impact on both family stability and on a child’s long term health and development. By supporting children’s learning and development in safe, stable and nurturing environments, quality early childhood programs buffer the challenges and risk associated with homelessness.

    As part of that effort, we here at the Administration for Children and Families continue to work with Head Start and child care to meet the needs of children and families experiencing homelessness. Across the country, Head Start and Early Head Start programs are building partnerships in their communities to make their services more accessible for children experiencing homelessness. On Nov. 19, 2014, the President signed the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014, which authorizes the Child Care and Development Fund.

    The new law has several provisions that specifically benefit children and families experiencing homelessness.

    Our goal, along with the cooperation and support of states and communities, is to not only help end family homelessness, but to put forth our most earnest efforts and resources to help those families and young children who find themselves in this unenviable position.

    Together, we can reach these important goals.

    For resource materials, please click here.


    Volunteer Appreciation Month

    April is Volunteer Appreciation Month! Thank you to all who give their time to help individuals in our community.

    At UMOM, each volunteer plays a very important role in helping us to achieve our mission. Throughout the month of April we will be recognizing individuals, organizations, and groups that have generously donated their time, passion, and talents to helping families at UMOM succeed. We’d like to take a moment to tell you about Steve, one of our many dedicated volunteers.

    steve-hudson-900pxSteve has always been passionate about giving back and donating his time to helping others. “When I was young, I learned that there are many people in our community who are in need. I was taught that it was important to share my skills and knowledge with those who were less fortunate.”

    Three years ago, Steve attended a volunteer activity at UMOM and was immediately hooked on UMOM’s mission to helping families in our community.  He began participating in UMOM’s weekly Read to Me program and now regularly donates his time in UMOM’s computer lab helping individuals get back into the workforce. He assists individuals with updating their resumes, using the computers, job searching, and conducts one-on-one mock interviews that help to build confidence. Steve also participates in the UMOM Speakers Bureau. He represents UMOM at various events throughout the valley and hosts tours of UMOM’s campus.

    Steve is passionate about giving back and we at UMOM appreciate everything that he does for individuals and families in our programs. Thanks to Steve, individuals are feeling confident that they are getting the resources and guidance in the computer lab to help them be successful. They are more confident when walking into an interview and are excited when they find employment. “I leave here every day knowing I made a difference in the life of one person.” Thank you Steve for being a strong advocate for UMOM and making a lasting impact on families in our shelter programs!


    UMOM Launches Women In Need Campaign (WIN)

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    Watkins Basic Needs Shelter is an emergency shelter for single homeless women, located in South Phoenix. The facility is a former diaper factory owned by the City of Phoenix and operated by UMOM New Day Centers.

    Last year, there were over 3,082 homeless women identified in Maricopa County. Of
    those women, UMOM served 2,115 at Watkins. Watkins provides up to 145 single homeless women with safe shelter, a shower and a hot meal each night. The women are unable to stay at the shelter during the day and are transported to the Human Services Campus, where over 1,000 men stay each day. The women feel unsafe because some of the men are sexual offenders, have criminal records and are on drugs. The women are scared and have limited services available to them.

    WIN Campus and Room FlyerThis is why UMOM has launched the WIN Campaign. Through the funds raised, women currently residing at Watkins will be relocated to a renovated facility, the “Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation UMOM Women’s Center.” The women’s center will house 120+ women in a safe and nurturing environment, allowing the women to address their homelessness, fears, and victimization. The women will have immediate access to healthcare, vocational training and job placement, substance abuse counseling, and housing resources. The women will be able to stay during the day AND focus on their case plan to end their homelessness.

    By relocating the shelter to a property specifically designed for homeless women, directly across UMOM’s main campus, the women will be able to receive the same comprehensive services and programs that we provide to homeless families. With the additional support and assistance, the length of time they experience homelessness will be reduced significantly, ultimately decreasing the need for Emergency Shelter in our community.

    If you’d like to contribute to the WIN campaign or become a cabinet member please contact Karen Fletcher by email at kfletcher@umom.org or call 602-275-7852


    Pastor Kelly, Recipient of Roland Brammeier Award

    We are pleased to announce Pastor Kelly Bender, UMOM’s Pastor, is this year’s recipient for the Roland Brammeier Award. He was awarded for his exemplary work with families and women at UMOM New Day Centers and Watkins Basic Needs Shelter.

    The award is given in memory of Roland William Brammeier, a United Methodist Minister and community activist. The United Methodist Desert Southwest Conference Board of Global Ministries established the award, in his honor, to be given to one clergy and one lay person. Pastor Kelly works relentlessly with homeless families and individuals and demonstrates leadership in the area of mission related to children, hunger, shelter and homeless families.

    We would like to congratulate Pastor Kelly and we are so grateful for all his hard work in the community and in the faith-based community.Bender 1


    Marie’s Garden


    Marie’s favorite past time was gardening.  She was devoted to the church and was passionate about women’s causes. When Marie passed away in November 2014 her son, Mark, wanted to do something very special in her memory around her love for flowers, religion and women’s rights. UMOM’s focus on solving barriers related to homelessness and helping families is a cause Mark is passionate about. Wanting to give back to the community and honor his mother, he decided on “Marie’s Garden”.

    With the help from church volunteers and local suppliers he revamped UMOM New Day Centers’ serenity garden for families and residents of UMOM to use as a place of peace and reflection.  The community came together to create an inspirational place with the hopes that individuals will get inspired to do the same for others.  Mark states “I believe that we are called to give back to society. Let’s inspire one another.”


    The garden has a new fountain, brand new benches, new gravel and flowers including Marie’s favorite, rose bushes. On the wall of the garden the plaque reads “Maries’ Garden, where peace, hope, faith and love grow.” The garden will bring peace, hope, faith and love to UMOM residents and help them cope with their situation, overcome barriers and grow through reflection.


    Career Center Renovated

    Thanks to Cox Communications, UMOM residents have access to a fully updated Career Center. This past spring, UMOM was awarded a Cox Technology grant to provide new computers, laptop & printer, flat-screen TV,  re-wiring & electrical, furniture and supplies for the existing career center. These updates have enhanced the ability for UMOM residents to obtain employment. The center also provides residents with one-on-one resume assistance, mock interview training, job-related workshops and classes such as The Basics of Microsoft Word and the Do’s & Don’ts of Applications and Resumes.


    “We are excited to have the Career Center renovated by Cox. The additional computers will give residents the ability to job search, look for housing, and apply for school.”
    -Rosanne Harper, UMOM Employment Navigator

    On any given day, there are over 150 parents living at the shelter, many of whom are looking for employment. With enhancements made with the Cox Communications technology grant, residents will have the tools necessary to support their employment search and ultimately provide for their family. Employment is a large barrier for the parents at UMOM and is a key part for most family’s case plan.

    “It helps me with my job search and they cox-career-centerprovide us with good resources. It’s accessible, easy to use and kid friendly”.
    - Kaylin, UMOM resident and mother of two

    Thank you to Cox Communications for your support and allowing us to provide families with even more resources to aid in breaking the cycle of homelessness.