THE CASS INNOVATION SERIES
A Closer Look at Mechanisms for Change:
How Case Management Opens the Door to Lasting Stability
We’re excited to begin our Innovation Series to share with you how CASS continues to evolve with new and better solutions to address homelessness throughout Maricopa County.
In the height of the pandemic in 2020, with rising need for both housing support and homeless services, CASS opened our Norton and Ramsey Social Justice Empowerment Center (NREC). This small but mighty Glendale Center is having a big impact, serving an average of 500 people monthly!
The NREC in Glendale is the first of CASS’ three new regional locations: two more will be opening in the next year, including: (1) CASS’ 170-bed temporary housing facility for seniors (The Haven), and (2) CASS’ 54-bed Transitional Housing Program (Bower Park).
The NREC serves as a navigation hub for people at risk of, or experiencing homelessness in the West Valley. CASS is also Glendale’s Master Services Homeless provider: in that role, CASS coordinates services among many partner agencies to meet the needs of Glendale residents including: street outreach, job services, coordinated entry, operating a 24/7 service line and more.
Most important of all are the client success stories, a few which we have shared below.
As always, thank you for your support—your generosity is why we helped 30% more people last year than the prior year.
Justin and Molly, both in their early 40’s, together with their 5 children recently began experiencing homelessness after a rent increase of their Glendale home left them stretched too thin financially. Following civil eviction proceedings, the couple had managed to pay off the judgement and were anxious to secure a new home for their family.
However, after a series of rejections from apartment complexes within their budget they quickly learned that with an eviction on their records they would have a hard time obtaining a new home. In the meantime, the family stayed in motels when they could afford to do so and their car when they could not. Ultimately, it was a referral to NREC that afforded them the approval they needed to secure a new lease. After contacting a local realty office, their NREC case manager was able to negotiate their approval for a 3-bedroom home. Additionally, funds were pooled between CASS and a partnering organization to cover the majority of the family’s move in cost, allowing Justin and Molly the opportunity to begin to rebuild their savings.
Patrick is a 64-year-old who in December found himself at risk of experiencing homelessness for the first time when a prolonged illness resulted in him losing his employment. However, he came to NREC ready to do whatever was needed to regain his footing. Because NREC also serves as a collaborative venue for a number of partnering organizations, Patrick was connected immediately with an employment assistance program that best fit his needs.
With the stress of being forced to lose his home temporarily relieved, Patrick threw himself into the job search and was soon interviewed by several potential employers. However, it was discovered that the tires on Patrick’s vehicle were threadbare, and his most promising job opportunities were all located a long distance away. In response, the NREC team drew upon flexible funding resources available through a grant from APS to purchase two new tires for his vehicle. Today, Patrick is once again employed full-time and grateful to be back on track financially.
Kim, a 33-year-old single mother to 6 young children, was evicted from her home after her mother fell ill with Covid-19 and had been unable to assist her with caring for her smallest children for a month. As she tried to juggle fulltime parenting and employment, Kim’s hours at work were gradually reduced until she eventually lost her job. Without income she quickly fell behind of her bills and was inevitably forced to gather her children and leave their home when the formal eviction process was initiated.
Fortunately, Kim’s first stop was NREC where our team jumped into action. Acting in partnership with the Glendale Community Action Program, NREC staff were able to produce the necessary resources to house Kim and her family in a motel for the night and restore them to their home by the next day. Within two days of returning to her home, Kim had secured a new full-time job as well as additional part-time employment to help restore her depleted savings. She is grateful to be back home and that her children were saved from what might have otherwise been a traumatic experience.
Founded in 1984, CASS is the largest and longest serving homeless emergency shelter provider in Arizona. Our adult and family shelters, as well as our temporary senior shelter operate at full capacity, 365 days of the year. CASS’ provides shelter, case management and housing support to a truly vulnerable community, from around the state and beyond.