Million dollar grant from AZ Attorney General's Office to preven - Tucson News Now

Million dollar grant from AZ Attorney General's Office to prevent homelessness

Unable to pay bills and facing eviction, this mom turned to Interfaith Community Services for assistance.  (Source: Tucson News Now) Unable to pay bills and facing eviction, this mom turned to Interfaith Community Services for assistance. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

There’s a big push to help prevent homelessness across Pima County. Earlier this month, the Gospel Rescue Mission had to cut their Men’s Shelter occupancy nearly in half because of a fire code violation. 

Now the Arizona Attorney General’s Office is providing a  $1 million grant to three local agencies to help tackle the issue of homelessness.

It’s estimated that more than 1,700 people are homeless on any given night in Pima County. This grant will enable three agencies to work with families to get them back on their feet.

“I had to move my kids. I went to an apartment and within a couple months we got evicted from there. It’s very depressing,” Andrea Santa Cruz said.

Mother of five, Andrea Santa Cruz fell on hard times after a divorce. Suddenly, she was left to pay the bills and rent on her own. Facing eviction again last week, she reached out to Interfaith Community Services for help.   

“They didn’t make me feel like I was at the bottom of the bucket. They encouraged me,” Santa Cruz said.

Santa Cruz is not alone, each day Interfaith is flooded with calls from people in similar, critical situations.

“We have hundreds of people that call in, literally every day for financial assistance with rent, utilities – meeting their basic needs,” Chief Executive Officer of Interfaith Community Services, Daniel Stoltzfus said.

In addition to Interfaith, Catholic Community Services, and the Primavera Foundation will also receive a portion of the grant money from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office over the next two years.

With many of the local homeless shelters at capacity each night, Interfaith said the funding will help boost their ability to provide job assistance for people in hopes of stopping homelessness before it starts.

“We have a job resource center they can come to, we offer budget and financial literacy classes – different tools to help people,” Stoltzfus said.  

Santa Cruz plans to attend Interfaith’s financial program class next week to get help applying for jobs.

“I don’t really think there’s anything that I can do to repay what they’ve done for me. I’m grateful,” Santa Cruz said.

Interfaith said the million-dollar grant funding will help support 1,500 individuals or households in the community.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

MOBILE USERS: Download our app, the most-used news app in southern Arizona, to get breaking news alerts, weather forecasts and exclusive content on your Apple and Android devices.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Human smuggling attempt stopped by AZ DPS, Border Patrol

    Human smuggling attempt stopped by AZ DPS, Border Patrol

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 10:15 PM EDT2017-09-20 02:15:44 GMT

    According to a recent U.S. Customs and Border Patrol news release, BP agents assisted an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper during a routine traffic stop on East State Route 80, just outside of Tombstone on Sunday, Sept. 17.  

    According to a recent U.S. Customs and Border Patrol news release, BP agents assisted an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper during a routine traffic stop on East State Route 80, just outside of Tombstone on Sunday, Sept. 17.  

  • KOLD INVESTIGATES: Women, drugs and Arizona prisons

    KOLD INVESTIGATES: Women, drugs and Arizona prisons

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 10:06 PM EDT2017-09-20 02:06:04 GMT
    (Source: Tucson News Now)(Source: Tucson News Now)

    Arizona puts more women behind bars than most states in the country and a majority of the inmates are there for non-violent drug offenses.

    Arizona puts more women behind bars than most states in the country and a majority of the inmates are there for non-violent drug offenses.

  • BREAKING

    Rep. Grijalva arrested outside of Trump Tower

    Rep. Grijalva arrested outside of Trump Tower

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 9:33 PM EDT2017-09-20 01:33:33 GMT
    Rep. Raul Grijalva.Rep. Raul Grijalva.

    Rep. Raul Grijalva was arrested Tuesday during a protest outside of Trump Tower in New York.

    Rep. Raul Grijalva was arrested Tuesday during a protest outside of Trump Tower in New York.

Powered by Frankly