Phoenix, AZ: Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) has received a generous contribution of $100,000 from the Arizona Lottery to help ensure continued care for clients experiencing homelessness during the coronavirus pandemic, especially homeless senior citizens who are at high-risk. This funding will support CASS’ programs designed to keep seniors safe during the pandemic, as well as to provide supportive case management services to help them find and obtain stable and long-term housing.
While community funding is always essential to CASS’ programs, the COVID-19 pandemic has created extraordinary unplanned expenses and challenges for this 35-year-old shelter. Particularly, among these is the need to find safe and supportive emergency housing options for the elderly and those with chronic health conditions. With community support, CASS opened Project Haven, a temporary hotel setting allowing vulnerable homeless seniors to avoid the coronavirus risks they would encounter in a more populous, traditional shelter setting. Meals, security, laundry, case management, and other basic services are provided on-site to assist guests in finding long-term housing solutions.
“We are grateful for The Arizona Lottery’s continued support and recognition of the urgent and continuing need to support our community’s homeless, especially our highly vulnerable seniors,” said Lisa Glow, Chief Executive Officer of CASS. “The need for specialized housing options for seniors has been a focus at CASS for the last few years and, with the 65 and older homeless population projected to triple by 2030, this is truly a ‘silver tsunami’ of homelessness that will likely only be worsened by this pandemic. Support from individuals and organizations like The Arizona Lottery is needed now, more than ever.”
“The Arizona Lottery is proud of our decade-long relationship with CASS and we want to support their efforts to safeguard the public’s health by providing healthy meals and safe housing for older Arizonans who are at risk due to their being homeless,” said Arizona Lottery Executive Director Gregg Edgar. “The Arizona Lottery exists to do good in our community and we can do that by helping organizations like CASS accomplish their mission. This vulnerable population needs these services that only CASS is equipped to provide and the Lottery is able to help fund.”
“It is our vision to ultimately establish a new permanent facility for the growing number of homeless seniors. Seniors have unique needs and issues that can be better addressed with specialized services in a facility that is tailored to them,” added Glow. “We are optimistic that, with additional funding from the community, we will be able to realize that goal in 2021. At the end of this pandemic, we want to be able to say that we not only protected our community, but we also made a significant and lasting impact to end homelessness for hundreds of our homeless neighbors.”
Founded in 1984, CASS is the largest and longest-serving homeless emergency shelter provider in Arizona. Both adult and family shelters operate at full capacity, 365 days a year. CASS’ centralized efforts in Arizona’s metropolitan area provide shelter, case management, and housing support to a truly vulnerable community, from around the state and beyond, who often remain hidden in society and whose chronic needs are often unmet. For more information about our organization, visit our website, www.CASSAZ.org.