HOUSING STABILITY & HOMELESSNESS

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Housing Stability & Homelessness

Increase equitable access to affordable housing for all and supportive services to prevent and alleviate homelessness.

How your United Way engages in improving housing stability for all Southern Arizona Residents

Individuals

CRISIS DIVERSION:

  • Emergency Funding
  • Rental, mortgage, utility assistance
  • Food and other assistance to help meet immediate needs
Families & Older Adults

EVICTION PREVENTION:

  • Direct financial assistance to families to keep kids in school and prevent disruptive moves.

  • Financial Empowerment Collaborative connects families with financial coaches and other supportive services to improve stability.

  • Affordable Housing Initiative for Older Adults raises awareness of the impact of increasing costs on individuals with fixed incomes.

Direct Service Providers

FINANCIAL & INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT:

    • Funding to support staff of housing service providers: Multiple agencies receive grant funding for eviction prevention and family financial stability work

    • Financial support of outside agency emergency funds

    • Eviction Prevention Case Managers Coalition: A space for providers to share resources, improve efficiency of service delivery and obtain peer support

Systems

ADVOCATING FOR CHANGE:

  • United Way convenes the Financial Wellness Partnership, Affordable Housing Initiative for Older Adults and other large coalitions who engage in collective impact work to examine and champion improvements in all facets of the housing ecosystem
  • Public Policy Groups engage with government entities and elected officials to advocate for best practices, increased funding, growth of affordable housing stock and other policies
  • Leadership roles in outside groups, such as the Tucson-Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness

Current and Future Impact:

  • Collaborative partner and Board member for Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness (TPCH).
  • Convene and collaborate with trusted nonprofit partners to address the spectrum of issues from causes to immediate needs.
  • The Family Eviction Prevention Program supports families facing eviction move from crisis to stability by providing financial assistance and additional critical supports.
  • Affordable Housing for Older Adults, a collaborative initiative for lower- income older adults to prevent eviction and homelessness Emergency Rental and Utility. Learn more here.

Housing Programs

Overview: We can’t expect children to succeed in school when they don’t have a safe, stable place to call home. Through a partnership with the Siemer Institute, United Way of Tucson and Southern AZ supports four local organizations to offer eviction prevention resources such as housing case management and financial education/coaching for families with children in school.

Overview: In 2022, our eviction prevention efforts supported 116 families – 266 children. 100% of the families engaged avoided a move that would have disrupted their child’s health or education. 70% of the families improved their housing stability during their program time, and 70% increased their income – many accomplished both. (~$2,500 average cost per family, includes emergency assistance; most families receive support for a single expense and then participate in programing for 3 months.)

How to Support

  • Give: Our Siemer Institute grant is a matching grant, and additional investments can help us expand the program. Donations to support emergency assistance for these families are always needed and can also count as match.
  • Volunteer: Spanish-speaking individuals with financial backgrounds are a top request from our eviction prevention partners, who often conduct financial education and mentoring programs for families facing eviction. See our Volunteer opportunities here.
  • Connect: Contact fw@unitedwaytucson.org to learn more about program qualification and how you or people in your life may benefit. Community organizations engaged in eviction prevention services may be eligible to join our shared measurement and resource sharing efforts.

 

Overview: The United for Southern Arizona Emergency Fund was established in 2020 during the beginning of the pandemic. United Way of Tucson saw a need for immediate assistance to local community members in crisis. As we transition away from the pandemic, our emergency fund continues to bring relief to local individuals and families in our community during other emergency hardships. This fund was established to bring immediate assistance to children, families, and older people who are laid off, unemployed, low-income, homeless, underinsured, and struggling to make ends meet. A heavy focus of the fund is providing rental and utility assistance to help bridge gaps for people in immediate danger of eviction and unstable situations. Learn more here.

Impact: Since 2022, emergency funds from United Way have supported nearly 3,000 people – 89% of which are households with children – to stay safe, stable, and housed. Almost all of these households are engaged in other programs in conjunction with their assistance, with the most common being case management (79.7%), housing programs (26.3%) and financial education, coaching or workshops (26.3%). Additionally, United Way’s collaboration with local food banks has supported the distribution of more than 17 million pounds of food for tens of thousands of people.

How to Support

  • Give: Emergency assistance resources are limited and difficult to access – but even a small amount make an enormous difference for a family in crisis. Households using our emergency funds request only an average of $534 to restabilize.
  • Volunteer: Spanish-speaking individuals with financial backgrounds are a top request from our eviction prevention partners, who often conduct financial education and mentoring programs for families facing eviction. Our food distribution partners host frequent opportunities for individuals or groups. See our Volunteer opportunities here.
  • Connect: Sign up for our Good News Network newsletter to stay updated about community needs related to basic needs and opportunities to offer support through volunteering, donating, or advocacy – or contact fw@unitedwaytucson.org to learn more.

Overview: Over 3,000 older adults remain on years-long waiting lists for subsidized housing in Tucson and surrounding areas. The Affordable Housing Initiative for Older Adults attempts to identify barriers, make recommendations, and identify best practices that can lead to more innovative housing options for our region. Visit our special webpages dedicated to this program here.

Impact: The Affordable Housing Alliance for Older Adults has an active leadership team and volunteers dedicated to the successful implementation of the elements in the initiative released in 2022. The Alliance continues to monitor activities of decision-making and advisory bodies of local governments in the region related to the provision of affordable housing. In addition, team members have engaged with elected and appointed officials and staff to share information and offer support and advocacy around affordable housing issues. Read about our results here.

How to Support

  • Give: Emergency assistance resources are limited and difficult to access – but even a small amount make an enormous difference for a family in crisis. Households using our emergency funds request only an average of $534 to restabilize.
  • Volunteer: Become a member of the United Way of Tucson’s ELDER Alliance to become a part of the solution today. Learn more about joining here.
  • Connect: Sign up for our Elder Alliance newsletter to stay updated about community needs related to basic needs and opportunities to offer support through volunteering, donating, or advocacy.
Housing Stability Story

Meet Maria

“Maria* is a single mother with four children, all of whom have been or are currently enrolled in Sunnyside schools. Maria has never been late on rent while living in her home, but she lost her job in hotel services recently. By the time she contacted us, the family had exhausted all other systemic supports. They were in crisis and one day from eviction. Maria had found a new job by this time but was still in her 10 day wait period, unable to come up with the immediate money for rent. We were able to use the United Way Emergency Relief Fund to pay her rent and then take appropriate action to ensure illegal evictions don’t threaten the family in the future. Without United Way’s support, this family would have been homeless: a single mother with four young children. But we were able to help – thank you!!”