Communities where citizens are housed and employed are vibrant and safe. Communities where homelessness is common pay in high expenditures of tax dollars, lost opportunities, human misery for people experiencing homelessness, and lowered quality of life for everyone!

Ending homelessness is a collaborative, community effort that saves tax dollars, opens opportunities, improves quality of life, and enhances the business climate. Ending homelessness requires the entire community to work together. Here are some examples.

The Homeless Coalition

Since October 2015, City of Tucson Ward 5 Council Member Richard Fimbres has regularly brought together a group of government officials, business owners, faith-based organizations, TPCH, its members and other service providers and the homeless community. Such collaboration has inspired notable progress.

Jacome Plaza is an example of business climate enhancement through ending homelessness.

“Through DTP Connects, 84 individuals experiencing homelessness were connected with housing in three short months and a homeless encampment was completely transformed into a vibrant public plaza enjoyed by all. By collaborating with various organizations in the Tucson area, we are reducing homelessness in our city,” stated Kathleen Eriksen, President and CEO of the Downtown Tucson Partnership (DTP).

Tucson Change Movement provides ongoing support

DTP also worked with the Fourth Avenue Coalition, Ward 5, and Park Tucson to launch the Tucson Change Movement in May 2017 with 20 donated parking meters at which people can give their change – or use debit or credit cards – to support homelessness-related causes, beginning with the Tucson Homeless Work Program. In 2018, as Tucson Homeless Work Program entered its second year, it won a Common Ground Award from the Metropolitan Pima Alliance, and an Award of Merit from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) in July 2018.

H.S. Lopez Family Foundation supports current, future services

Humberto S. and Czarina Lopez contributed most generously to current homelessness services, providing the Sister Jose Women’s Center with Czarina’s Kitchen, where about 3,800 meals are served to homeless women each month, and purchasing and giving to the oversight of Gospel Rescue Mission the former Holiday Inn Palo Verde to become the new Center for Opportunity, where homeless and at-risk persons can find or link to all the services they need at one location, 4550 S. Palo Verde Blvd.

Please join TPCH in ending homelessness in Pima County! Donate today.

High Expenditure of Tax Dollars

A recent analysis of TPCH data showed that in the six months prior to being assessed for referral to housing through our Coordinated Entry System, people experiencing homelessness:

  • Visited emergency departments for health care more than 36,000 times
  • Were taken to hospital by ambulance more than 15,000 times
  • Were hospitalized more than 17,000 times
  • Used crisis services, including 911, more than 19,000 times
  • Interacted with law enforcement more than 25,000 times (often for misdemeanors resulting from lack of housing), and
  • Stayed at least one night in a holding cell, jail or prison more than 9,000 times.

Nearly all these services were paid by tax dollars. The few that were not were losses to the service provider.

These taxpayer expenses can be reduced or avoided with housing and directed services that fill a person’s needs before they become critical. Housing helps improve the health of the housed person and enables them to gain education, training and employment!

In fact, Tucson Fire Department’s Tucson Collaborative Community Care, TC3, is reducing such costs and improving lives by connecting 911 callers – homeless and housed – to needed community services.

Please join TPCH in ending homelessness in Pima County! Donate today.

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