UMOM Leverages Leadership and Resources to Continue Services for Youth and Young Adults
(PHOENIX) – A new era has begun at the UMOM New Day Centers.
UMOM’s leadership announced today it has taken over operation of six programs that bring help and hope to homeless youth and young adults. The programs were formerly part of the Tumbleweed nonprofit service organization and are new additions to UMOM’s longstanding work as Arizona’s largest shelter and service provider for homeless families.
In December 2016, UMOM became aware of financial difficulties encountered by Tumbleweed, an organization that provided a variety of services to homeless youth since 1972. Recognizing the significant community value of Tumbleweed’s programs, UMOM CEO Darlene Newsom, her executive team and UMOM’s Board of Directors made the decision to enter into Tumbleweed’s Chapter 11 restructuring process in federal bankruptcy court. In late April of this year, the court approved the plan to absorb nearly all Tumbleweed’s programming and staff.
“It was the right thing to do,” said CEO Newsom. “At UMOM, we’ve worked hard over the years to be fiscally healthy and a strong partner to the communities we serve. That strength gave us the capacity to absorb and continue the Tumbleweed programs.”
Although it is extraordinarily difficult to accurately count the number of homeless youth in Maricopa County, we know – from a variety of sources – that each night, many hundreds of teenagers and young adults are on the street.
“That’s our motivation behind all of this,” said Newsom. “The need is just too great.”
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton applauded UMOM for its leadership and service to the community.
“Darlene Newsom and UMOM have been a godsend to families facing homelessness in Phoenix, and now they have stepped up for our community in another vital capacity,” said Mayor Stanton. “By taking over these essential services, UMOM is giving scared and vulnerable young women and men in crisis a helping hand when they need it the most.”
UMOM Board President Karen Johnson of Midwestern University added, “Standing back and doing nothing was never an option. We already work with hundreds of families and many more individuals. Expanding to include programs for youth and young adults is a natural extension for us, and a perfect match for our vision to be a leader in breaking the cycle of homelessness.”
Nearly all Tumbleweed staffers will transition to jobs at UMOM, although there will be some changes in duties and assignments. UMOM also purchased Tumbleweed facilities that support the six programs UMOM will now operate.
UMOM New Day Centers is a nonprofit serving Maricopa County, Arizona with a mission to prevent and end homelessness with innovative strategies and housing solutions that meet the unique needs of each family and individual. UMOM offers shelter and a wide range of supportive services to homeless teens, youth and families of all ages.
 The Maricopa Association of Government’s 2014 Point-in-Time (PIT) Homeless Count for Maricopa County, the most recent data available, found 1,819 children under the age of 18 were homeless, with another 601 young adults aged 18 to 24 also without a permanent home. (A PIT report documents the number of homeless on a given night in a particular geographic area. The 2014 survey date was January 27).