Founded in 1984 in response to a homeless crisis in the City of Phoenix, CASS is Arizona’s largest and longest serving emergency shelter program serving people experiencing homelessness. CASS currently operates two shelters—one for adults, one for families. Unlike most other shelter programs, CASS offers low barrier shelter, meaning there are few pre-conditions to entry. Clients do not need to be clean and sober, have an income, or accept services as a condition to enter. The adult shelter has recently expanded to 600 beds; the family shelter can shelter 120-150 individuals nightly.
In FY22, CASS served 6,658 individuals and provided over 230,000 bed nights. CASS serves more persons experiencing chronic homelessness than any other Arizona provider, offering specialized services to these clients. CASS also leads the community in specialized programs for the growing number of senior citizens experiencing homelessness. During COVID-19, we operated a pandemic hotel shelter for seniors and medically vulnerable persons called Project Haven. CASS has additional expertise in working with veterans, youth, families, and people with disabilities.
CASS also operates The Norton and Ramsey Social Justice Empowerment Center (NREC), serving about 500 Glendale residents monthly with housing, job support, healthcare and more. NREC is not a shelter, but assists people to obtain emergency shelter and/or housing while strengthening the service delivery net for people in the West Valley.
CASS is committed to a regional strategy, and in late 2023 and 2024, CASS will be opening two additional shelters—a 170-bed emergency shelter for seniors over the age of 55 in North Phoenix and a 54-bed shelter for people with serious mental illness (SMI) in a collaborative effort with Copa Health. Once we have completed these expansions, we will have 820 beds for adults experiencing homelessness.