THE CASS INNOVATION SERIES
Collaboration in Glendale:
The Norton and Ramsey Social Justice Empowerment Center
Like most cities in Maricopa County, Glendale experienced a substantial increase in unsheltered homelessness during the Covid-19 pandemic. Data from the Point-In-Time (PIT) Count show that from 2019 – 2023 unsheltered homelessness increased 54% in Maricopa County overall and 25% in the West Valley. From 2019 to 2022 the unsheltered population more than doubled in Glendale, however from 2022 to 2023 the unsheltered count in Glendale dramatically decreased by 58%! The decline in unsheltered homeless in Glendale is largely attributable to the city’s collaborative partnership with the Glendale Homeless Solutions Alliance (GHA).
Formed in July 2021, today the GHA comprises seven core agencies (Central Arizona Shelter Services, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Community Bridges, Inc., Circle The City, Family Promise, Homeless Youth Connection, and Maggie’s Place) that work in concert with the City of Glendale to ensure that everyone in Glendale has access to resources to prevent or end homelessness. Between July 2021 and May 2023, more than 4,600 people have received services through the GHA. Serving both individuals and families, the GHA has adopted a cross-agency, multi-sector response to homelessness that is client-centered and client-driven in alignment with existing best practices. The GHA service delivery model is trauma-informed, capable of meeting the needs of special populations (e.g., veterans, seniors, and families), preserves the autonomy, and respects the lived experiences of service recipients.
CASS’s Norton and Ramsey Social Justice Empowerment Center (NREC), located in downtown Glendale, operates as the “network hub” for the GHA. There, visitors have access to showers, laundry services, vocational development resources, housing navigation, case management, medical care, intake and screening for emergency shelter, and more. In addition to site-based resources, the GHA employs outreach and navigation to make service connections in the field.
Over 200 households have been able to avoid eviction and remain in their homes through our flexible financial assistance programs and another 200 plus households were able to move into new housing. GHA partner agencies have provided over 12,000 nights of emergency shelter and made over 16,000 outreach contacts with unsheltered Glendale residents. As a result of these efforts, nearly 1,500 individuals have been diverted or exited from homeless services into housing. The NREC maintains a 24/7 Resource Line to connect individuals and families to services and provide information and support to community members. If you or someone you know is at-risk-of or experiencing homelessness in Glendale, please call 623-207-8902 (outside of West Valley 602-229-5155). We have solutions.
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.