The point in time survey conducted on January 13, 2009 by the Maricopa Association of Governments Continuum of Care Regional Committee on Homelessness counted 2,918 individuals living on the streets in Maricopa County. This survey found that 4,971 homeless people were counted in Maricopa County shelters: 2,528 in emergency shelters and 2,443 in transitional housing programs. Due to the depressed economy in the current year there has been an increase in homelessness, especially for families who are homeless for the first time.
The Kaiser Family Crisis Center is a 120-day work program, which enables families to get back on their feet and learn skills that will help them cope with crises in the future. Using an empowerment philosophy, families who have experienced crises such as eviction or loss of a job are assisted in gaining employment, meeting targeted goals, and developing positive family dynamics.
Clients in this program must adhere to strict requirements. They must remain drug-free and sober during their stay, attend case management sessions, life skills classes, and substance abuse or mental health therapy. Additionally, they must meet regularly with the employment specialist, find employment within a specific time frame, and save 60% of any incoming money. This structure assists clients in becoming responsible and accountable for themselves and their families. The Family Crisis Center staff takes pride in our program.
The stability provided by the program also allows children to thrive as they experience knowing where they will eat, sleep, and have a consistent opportunity to bond with their parents, possibly for the first time. Many of the children have moved so frequently that they live in a constant state of stress and chaos. In addition to attending the same school regularly, they are able to participate in a structured after-school program.