Since 1964, UMOM New Day Centers has been dedicated to helping homeless families. The face of homelessness in Phoenix has changed throughout the decades, and UMOM has risen to the challenge of providing food, clothing and shelter to those in need since its inception. UMOM provides families facing homelessness with safe shelter, housing and support services so they can reach their greatest potential.









The “Inner City Board” was formed out of the Arizona Methodist Church Extension Society (AMCES) with the goals of:
1)  providing relief for transients
2)  linking suburban and inner city churches
3) equipping backyard playgrounds for inner city homes.

Achievements included:

  • health screenings provided by nursing students from Arizona State University;
  • dental examinations and basic care education offered by spouses of dentists;
  • social work field placement activities through Iowa State University;
  • 5,000 monthly meals provided by area food specialists;
  • parenting skill classes for mothers;
  • participation of 100 people in an ecumenically provided mathematics and reading tutoring program requested by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • establishment of a “Center for Creative Arts” to provide inner-city experiences for church-related vocations;
  • “Inner City Plunges” that exposed adults to police ride¬alongs and living on the street with homeless people;
  • Involvement of high school students with residents of inner city homes for the aged;
  • distribution of food from churches and renovation of several homes.



AMCES programs were extended from the inner city of Phoenix out to Peoria, Buckeye, Guadalupe, Tempe, Mesa and the Pima Indian reservation. In 1973, the “Metropolitan Phoenix Council (MEPCO) was created to reflect the broader geographical scope of the United Methodist Outreach Ministries whose goals were:

1)   coordinate the Phoenix District efforts to strengthen central city United Methodist parishes;

2)   coordinate funding for ethnic concerns;

3)   provide direct funding and services for hunger;

4)   provide United Methodist witness among Native American people;

5)   identify and address criminal justice issues; and

6)   deal with the nutritional and housing needs of the elderly.

Achievements included:

  • tutoring, arts and crafts programs provided at Primera Iglesia;
  • an inpatient and outpatient Chicano Alcoholics Anonymous program
  • establishment of outreach programs at Primera Iglesia, Wesley Community Center, Garfield UMC and Capital St Paul’s UMC;
  • a creative ministry for African American children at Wesley UMC; education, nutrition, transportation and cultural awareness activities in urban and reservation settings for Native Americans;
  • establishment of a Food Bank (pantry) at Capitol UMC and the Wesley Community Center;
  • creation of day care, youth recreation, senior citizen programs
  • implementation of congregational development programs and individual assistance programs.


MEPCO was dissolved and United Methodist Outreach Ministries (UMOM) was incorporated to serve the Central East and Central East Districts of the newly created Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church. The goals of UMOM during this period of time were to:

1)  coordinate national and local mission projects and program;

2)  initiate new programs;

3)  recruit and train local volunteers for outreach ministries;

4)  communicate with local churches concerning outreach ministries.

Achievements included:

  • provision of financial and managerial support for the UMOM Food Bank,
  • the Children’s’ Shelter for the Homeless (transitioned into the Child Care Center at the New Day Center in 1992) ,the Individual Assistance Program (providing gas, utility and rent assistance), the Women’s Ex-offender Program (providing clothing for women coming out of prison and seeking employment) and the Madison Street Jail Ministry (a visitation program for inmates);
  • continued to meet ethnic minority and transitional housing needs;
  • management of the winter overflow homeless shelter project which began in winter 1987 and operated out of Wesley Community Center.  It extended to the cities of Mesa and Phoenix in winter of 1988 and has continued as a program with the City of Phoenix into the present.


UMOM’s strategic direction was updated and revitalized with the primary additional goals of:

1)   significantly expanding and improving programs and services;

2)   expanding the base of private and public funding sources;

2)   developing broad-based ecumenical support and involvement.

Achievements included:

  • ongoing operation of the food bank started in 1974 in sough-central Phoenix.
  • continued operation of winter overflow services for the City of Phoenix and expansion of services offered in that program.  The program offers overnight shelter for the most destitute of the homeless population and provides the persons who are served with a multitude of services including a hot meal and a chance to shower and clean up, clothing, medical assistance, transportation to jobs, and case management. It was out this program that UMOM launched a year- round, 15-unit family emergency shelter, which became part of the New Day Center.
  • acquisition of a facility and development of the Lamplighter project (permanent housing facility for 8 seriously men-tally ill (SMI) and 4 non-SMI homeless persons).
  • achieved national accreditation for its childcare center.
  • created an onsite medical center for health screenings and assessments.
  • acquisition of the New Day Center in 1992, which was purchased from the Resolution Trust Corporation in April 1994 for $125,000. The following programs were developed:

-66 units of emergency shelter for families (up to 120 days);-30 units of transitional housing for families (up to 2 years as needed); -10 units of transitional housing (up to 2 years as needed) for single women; and -31 units of single room occupancy (SRO) permanent housing for single men and  women who are disabled and/or handicapped.


Expansion of the New Day Center campus continued over the years to provide more and more programs for families. In 2007, the Watkins Emergency Shelter program became year round, specifically serving homeless single women and families. Also, UMOM was awarded a contract to open a 56-bed shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

Achievements Include:

  • New Day Center campus grew to provide the following programs:
    • FOOD AND SHELTER:  Clients have 24-hour access to a private room with bath and receive meals.
    • SECURITY: Security personnel are onsite 24 hours a day.
    • CASE MANAGEMENT: Each family is assigned a case manager who assists in defining a plan that will lead to independent living and self-sufficiency.  The case manager provides assistance in determining available benefits, counseling services, as needed, job and education counseling and direction, and assistance in the development of independent living and parenting skills.
    • CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER: UMOM operates a licensed childcare facility for the children of homeless families who are staying at the shelter.  This program monitors, assesses and creates experiences and opportunities to nurture the development of a child socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically from 6 weeks of age through 5th grade.
    • EDUCATION: All school age children are enrolled in school. Through networking with volunteers and other agencies, after school programs and summer programs are available for school age children.  A variety of adult education programs are also offered on campus.
    • SUPPLIES: Hygiene products, clothing and cleaning supplies are supplied.
    • MEDICAL CARE:  Dental Screenings and a nurse practitioner are available onsite.  Other emergency medical care is available as needed.
    • TRANSPORTATION:  Bus tickets are distributed to program participants, as needed, for completion of their case plan.
    • HOUSING ASSISTANCE:  A housing specialist assists program participants in identifying and accessing permanent affordable housing.
  • Shortly after the Watkins Shelter started providing year around shelter, Air-conditioning units were installed to provide much needed cooling during the summer months
  • Continued services provided at Watkins including a warm, safe place to sleep, program participants were provided a meal, hygiene items, clothing and medical attention, as well as case management and other supportive services provided by the City
  • Domestic Violence shelter program provides safety, advocacy, education and relocation/housing referral assistance to enable families to overcome the effects of domestic violence.
  • In 2007, UMOM formed a partnership with the Crews’n Healthmobile.
    • Medical services include vaccinations, well child care, acute care and other preventive health care similar to pediatric offices throughout the state.
    • In addition we provide financial counseling and AHCCCS enrollment, injury prevention, WIC, fitness education, smoking cessation, life skills training and a whole host of other “wellness” classes and training.
  • In 2008, the YWCA’s Haven House merged with UMOM which increased UMOM’s overall shelter capacity.


In October 2009, the campus relocated across the street in the remodeled Days Inn & Super 8 Motels.  The UMOM New Day Center houses approximately 500 men, women and children each night with over 2/3 of these persons being children ages 0-15.

Emergency Shelter Program provided free emergency housing and meals are provided for homeless families for a period up to four months.

  • During this time of crisis intervention and stabilization, the families are able to access all services that are available at the UMOM New Day Center.
  • Transitional Housing Program, UMOM provides longer-term housing, for up to 24 months, for families; including young adult and teen moms, along with their children.

In September of 2009, Helping Hands Housing Services merged with UMOM creating Next Step Housing  which includes a variety of housing programs and services.

Programs and services include:

  • Housing Assessment
  • Referral and Housing Application Assistance
  • Follow-Up Case Management for one year after exiting UMOM New Day Centers
  • Assistance with moving costs
  • Permanent Affordable Housing with On-Site Support Services opportunities at our 4 scattered locations
  • Rapid Re-Housing Subsidy Program
  • Tenant-based Services
  • The Lamplighter Place, a small apartment complex for SMI (severely mental ill) and formerly homeless single adults.
  • Partnerships with scattered site properties including Casa Nueva, Sahara Luna, and the Neighborhood Revitalization Project (NRP).

The Wellness Center on UMOM’s campus became a licensed center by Phoenix Children’s Hospital in 2011. The center was fully remodeled and serves UMOM residents 25 years and younger. UMOM also began a partnership with Midwestern Medical University to provide vision and dental screenings for adults.

Programs for Veterans

In 2011, UMOM opened 8 units of Transitional Living on the main campus.

  • Veterans are eligible if they have a referral from the VA Hospital, are able to live independently, and have dependent children.
  • The Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, located at UMOM and with a satellite program at Save the Family in the East Valley, assists very low-income veteran families.
    • Case managers help veterans with VA benefits and other public benefits including, but not limited to: housing counseling services, health care services, child care services, educational assistance, legal services, transportation services, financial planning services, daily living services, and temporary financial assistance.
  • Madison Pointe Apartments is an affordable housing community operated by The NRP Group expected to be completed in the summer of 2012.  This community is located near the Phoenix VA hospital and has a tenant preference for military families.
  • October 2013 UMOM finished a $24 million Capital Campaign which completed the mortgage of UMOM’s main campus on 3333 E Van Buren Street and allowed the shelter to operate at full capacity. In April 2013, the main campus was dedicated to The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation for their generous $5 million campaign gift.