Tempe Nonprofit Increasing its Impact on Homelessness
New Programs and Leadership to Benefit More People Experiencing Homelessness in Tempe
Tempe, Arizona (June 23, 2020). Tempe Community Action Agency is launching new services in Tempe under new management to broaden its impact on homelessness. TCAA currently operates I-HELP, the city’s sole emergency shelter program which offers overnight accommodations utilizing the buildings of several Tempe religious organizations of various denominations. These faith partners open their doors in the evening when their buildings are vacant, so that men and women who are homeless have a safe place to sleep, access to healthy meals, and an array of social services.
To supplement the shelter program, TCAA is launching the Oasis Drop-In Center, a new resource in central Tempe where unsheltered individuals can walk in and make use of amenities like computers and phones, meet with social service providers, launder their clothes, collect mail, replace missing ID documents, attend workshops and support groups, and seek relief from the heat. The Oasis Drop-In Center opens in July.
Later this year TCAA will also be adding more beds to the shelter program, which is currently limited to 40 per night.
“TCAA has a tradition of tracking human service trends and shaping our programs to respond to these trends,” said Deborah Arteaga, TCAA’s Executive Director. “As the homeless population in Tempe continues to grow, it became increasingly important to establish additional services for men and women desiring to move from homelessness into a permanent home. We’re excited to launch the Oasis Drop-In Center, our newest addition at TCAA.”
These program enhancements will unfold under the leadership of TCAA’s recently hired Program Manager, Susan Ringler.
Ms. Ringler is not new to the field of homelessness. As a former TCAA employee early in her career, she participated with a larger team of faith-based organizations to develop and launch the I-HELP shelter model in Tempe more than 15 years ago. She has dedicated her career to advocating for people experiencing homelessness, including founding Paz de Cristo in 1988 and creating and coordinating the first National Project Homeless Connect in Arizona.
Her contributions to the field of homelessness and the faith community were recognized by the City of Tempe with the time-honored Don Carlos Humanitarian award in 2009.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Sue’s return to TCAA and to the field she holds near to her heart. We look forward to making a greater impact on homelessness in Tempe under her leadership,” affirms Nick Bastian, Chairman of TCAA’s Board of Directors.