Homelessness FAQs

How many people experience homelessness locally?

On a single night in early 2023, the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Count was conducted by hundreds of volunteers in shelters and on the streets throughout Maricopa County. Unfortunately, the 2023 total count of individuals experiencing homelessness increased from 7,419 (in 2020) to 9,026 (in 2022) and now stands at 9,642 in 2023. This represents a staggering nearly 30% increase in just 3 years. Of those counted that night, 4,908 were unsheltered.

Why are the numbers so high?

Many complex factors are impacting the homeless surge in America, including a range of economic factors: poverty, high rents, lack of affordable housing, low wages, inflation, job loss, divorce, and loss of spouse. And for certain populations, (e.g., seniors on fixed incomes, people on disability income), they do not have enough monthly income to afford housing, nor is there sufficient subsidized housing for them.

Who experiences homelessness?

According to PIT Count data, adults 25 and older account for 78% of the homeless population, while 8% are 18-24, and sadly 14% are 17 and younger.  On the night of the count, 550 homeless families were identified, constituting 1,946 persons. Sixty-five percent of the population identified as male, 35% female, and 1% transgender or other.  Fourteen percent of individuals meet the definition of chronic homelessness.  At CASS specifically, our data shows that 75% of those we serve are first-time homeless.  In addition, we continue to see an increase in senior homelessness which currently accounts for 30% of our general population. There is also an over-representation of both African American and Native American communities.  For additional demographic information, please visit azmag.gov or email info@cassaz.org.

Is there a solution to homelessness?

To end homelessness, we must increase the supply of housing that is affordable to lower income households. For every 100 low-income renter in need of stable housing, the Phoenix metropolitan area has only 26 affordable rental units available. The minimum hourly wage needed to afford a one-bedroom apartment in Phoenix at Fair Market Rent is $19.85. If someone makes only minimum wage, they must work 65 hours per week to afford an apartment (AZMAG, 2022).

In the meantime, CASS focuses on one-time financial assistance to help people stay in their homes when possible, assisting with job readiness or establishing another stable income source, and working closely with those we serve to find stable housing solutions.

How many people does CASS shelter?

In 2021, CASS served 5,094 individuals and provided over 206,000 bed nights. The adult shelter has just expanded to 600 beds; the family shelter can shelter 120-150 individuals nightly. 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 and a 50-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.

Who is able to stay at CASS?

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. Once you have completed the intake process and been assigned to a bed, that bed is yours nightly as long as you follow all guidelines (there is no waiting line each day).

I am at risk of or experiencing homelessness. Who should I call?

  • If you are an individual seeking shelter, please call 602.229.5155 or visit the Welcome Center at 204 S. 12th Avenue (corner of 12th Avenue and Madison).
  • If you are a family seeking shelter, please call the Family Housing Hub at 602.595.8700. All services at our family shelter can only be obtained through the Housing Hub hotline.
  • If you are a resident of Glendale and seeking shelter or support, please call our Glendale location at 623.207.8902 or visit 7031 N. 56th Ave, Glendale AZ 85301.
  • If you are in need of housing support services, please email housing@cassaz.org.

How can I make a difference?

Your financial support to organizations like CASS make a critical difference in finding the best solutions to homelessness.  Along with GiveSmartAZ, we believe that delivering handouts or goods to individuals on street corners, parks, or other locations, is not only potentially unsafe, but also provides very short-lived relief and can delay or divert people from seeking services that can help end their homelessness.  There is also a documented return on investment to sheltering people:  providing shelter is about one-third of the cost of a person remaining on the streets.  Giving to CASS is giving that can truly change lives.

If you’d like to help someone you see on the street, please consider giving them CASS address and a bus ticket to make their way to us.  We have address handout cards available by emailing info@cassaz.org.

Other ways to support CASS can be found in the Get Involved section of our website.

Who can help me obtain an ID or other identification documentation?

Our campus partner, Homeless I.D. Project, is an excellent resource for not only helping with acquiring documents but they also provide secure document storage.  More information can be found on their website at www.homelessidproject.org or by calling 602.223.3427.

Who should I call if I am concerned about someone I encounter who is living on the streets?

For Glendale area, we encourage you to call our Glendale hotline for our navigation center at 623.207.8902.

For other areas of the Valley, please contact CBI Mobile Outreach at 877.931.9142

What medical and dental resources are available for someone experiencing homelessness?

Our great partners have excellent resource available to the community: 

Brighter Way Dental – www.brighterwaydental.org

Circle the City  – www.circlethecity.org

What resources are available to someone that is facing eviction or believes they were unfairly evicted?

If you are not yet evicted from your apartment, please email us at housing@cassaz.org to find out what resources we may have available to you (please include your city location in your email). 

For additional information on evictions and tenant rights, please visit Community Legal Services at www.clsaz.org.  If you are facing eviction and believe it was due to discrimination, please contact Southwest Fair Housing Council (www.swfhc.org) by calling 602.218.6491 or email intake@swfhc.org.

Do you have a question that we did not answer?

Please email us at info@cassaz.org.
Please note that if you are seeking housing support or shelter, we cannot help you through that email address. You must call 602.229.5155
or visit the Welcome Center at 204 S. 12th Ave, Phoenix 85007.

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