Thanks to a new $1.1 million grant - families will be placed into housing at UMOM at a much quicker pace. It’s an important factor. One which philanthropists Bob & Renee Parsons are passionate about it and their foundation's generous $1.1 million gift will support UMOM’s new Rapid Re-housing program for the next two years.
Bob Parsons says that, “Tackling homelessness is about more than putting a roof over someone’s head.”
“It’s about addressing the underlying cause and working towards a sustainable solution,” he explains. “UMOM’s rapid re-housing program will be able to cut through some of the red tape to get people back on their feet, productive and into a stable home as quickly as possible.”
In fact, the program is expected to create a 40 percent reduction in the time spent between homelessness and permanent housing, along with a reduction in program costs of approximately $1,000 per family.
“Having a place to call home is something many of us take for granted. A home means stability, protection and freedom. It means hope,” adds Renee Parsons.
“By combining private donations with government support, UMOM is better able to create housing programs that give people the help they need to rebuild their lives and the hope for a better future.”
“Right now, our success with rapid re-housing is at about 75 percent, meaning 75 percent of the families we help are able to secure an apartment and maintain their housing stability when they exit the program.
UMOM CEO Darlene Newsom says that, “This incredible grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation will allow us to increase that number to 85 percent or higher. “We also believe we will be at the forefront of a national movement to increase the number of families who exit homelessness to permanent, stable housing.
This gift from the Parsons, strong supporters of Phoenix's nonprofit community, is in addition to the millions they have donated over several years to the UMOM New Day Centers. That includes the Parsons donation in 2012, when they gave a generous $5 million to allow UMOM to pay off their main campus’s mortgage, where they provide emergency and transitional housing as well as other services for the Valley’s homeless.The new grant will fund a program which is unlike a typical lease agreement with an apartment complex, because there are no pre-conditions like proof of income or employment.
Instead, UMOM subsidizes rent payments over a period of months and surrounds the family with services to overcome obstacles that led to homelessness in the first place. Once the family is stable in housing, subsidies are reduced until the family is independent again with the tools they need to succeed.
Kathy Shayna Shocket is a freelance Writer, and TV- Field Producer. The former TV-Reporter has written for publications such as TIME Magazine, MONEY Magazine, PEOPLE Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter and The NEW YORK TIMES. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org