The Homeless Management Information System reported that between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009 there were 14,215 homeless clients entered into the system. CONTACTS, the initial point of contact for individuals and families seeking shelter, has reported that during fiscal year 2008-2009, 11,765 shelter needs went unmet.
Project HOPE (Homeless Outreach to Place and Empower) is a mobile outreach program developed in 1996 as a collaboration between The Salvation Army, the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, and the Libraries Department.
Project HOPE's function is to link homeless families and individuals with existing social service agencies that will assist in a safe transition from homelessness to an independent position in society.
Outreach currently operates Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Staff members drive two vans stocked with basic life essentials such as water, hygiene kits, and first aid supplies to Valley parks, washes, streets, public buildings, and other areas where the homeless congregate. These basic items are a means to initiate conversation during which an informal needs analysis is conducted.
Based on the individual's needs, eligibility, and willingness to pursue a course of action, HOPE staff will either transport the client directly to the agency that can assist most efficiently, or connect the client with the Project HOPE case manager for an in-depth interview and case plan. At times, it is more conducive to process the client initially in order to prepare them for subsequent agencies. The case manager assists the individual or family with obtaining birth certificates and state identification to help expedite the transition from the streets.
Project HOPE staff maintains close collaborative relationships with various service providers including substance abuse treatment centers, halfway houses, and shelters for client referrals.