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)

win header image
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.


Teen Center Gets A Superhero Makeover!

In March, we were delighted to partner with McCarthy Building Companies to remodel the teen center at UMOM where the Teen Activity Program (TAP) takes place. Volunteers spent several days painting and remodeling the room to match the superhero theme chosen by the teens in TAP. The room is lit up by superhero cut outs such as Ironman, Batman, Captain America and many more! The room also features TV’s, gaming systems, a tutoring center and new computers for teens to work on their homework. The computer center is a big hit with Lexus, one of the teens in the program, “My favorite part of the teen room is the new computer room because it’s quiet and I get to go on the computers and am able to finish my homework.”

Teen GirlThe teens were astonished at the makeover and were enthusiastic about having their favorite superheroes in the room, to serve as inspiration. Because of the renovation, attendance has increased in TAP with twice as many teenagers now stopping by after school.  The space is much more pleasant and it provides a positive environment for teens.

Lexus Trujillo regularly attends the TAP center afterschool.  She and her family had nowhere to go and came to UMOM looking for a place to live. Her dream is to one day have a car and to find a home for her family.

Lexus and the rest of the teens in the program are thrilled with the new space, Lexus commented, “This is a very special place to me.”

Sign in TAPUMOM would like to thank McCarthy Building Companies Heart Hats volunteers and all the sponsors who donated their time and materials including, Wholesale Flooring, for providing the carpeting, vinyl base & VCT, Pete King  for painting, framing and installing the drywall, Wilson Electric, for handling electrical & re-wiring, Universal Forest Products for the superhero wood cutouts, Walters and Wolf for providing new door, frames & windows, ABcom, for setting up data capabilities, and Insight for wiring, cables and power strips.

“Thank you, to all of those involved, I hope they continue to do this to other communities because they did an awesome job!’” -Lexus


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)