Native American Connections used last year’s Season for Sharing grant to provide affordable housing for homeless families, many of whom work in the service industry providing essential services during COVID-19.
Programs also support low-income working families and provide shelter for homeless adults ages 18-24. Most of the youth who are residents have been in the foster care system or identify as LGBTQ.
Rising rents have resulted in an increase in applications for affordable housing, which means a 1- to 2-year wait.
Last year, more than 350 families were provided emergency food, hygiene items, financial literacy and job development workshops. In addition, 400-plus children participated in afterschool and summer programs that promote health and wellness and create a sense of community.
The Republic spoke with Diana Yazzie Devine, CEO of the 50-year-old Phoenix-based nonprofit.
“We aren’t giving handouts. We are helping people that are working two or three jobs just to have a safe, affordable place to live and raise their families,” Devine said.
The group received a $10,000 grant from The Arizona Republic-sponsored Season for Sharing campaign last year. In all, $2.1 million was shared by 176 nonprofits that help children and families, older adults, and teachers and students.
What services is your organization providing? We offer health care, housing, and community development services within the Greater Phoenix area. Our programs have continued to grow, particularly those benefiting children, homeless youth, seniors and the chronically homeless.
How many individuals do you help? We operate more than 20 program sites that include integrated health care; affordable housing for families; 1,000-bed-plus unit for permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless persons; and community development services to more than 10,000 persons annually.
What are Native American Connections' greatest needs? Funding to develop and operate the shelters, affordable housing programs and health services.
What does the future hold for your organization? Our vision is to continue providing innovative housing, health care and cultural support services to urban Native Americans and other vulnerable populations to keep them safe and healthy.
Ways to give to Season for Sharing
Fill out the secure, online form at sharing.azcentral.com.
Text “SHARING” to 91-999 and click on the link in the text message.
Go online at facebook.com/seasonforsharing and look for the “DONATE HERE” post.
Clip the coupon on Page 4A of The Arizona Republic, fill it out and mail it to P.O. Box 29250, Phoenix, AZ 85038-9250.
Scan the QR code with your smartphone.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Phoenix group uses Season for Sharing funds for affordable housing