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I-HELP Emergency Shelter








At any point in time, more than 1,000 adults and children are experiencing homelessness in Tempe and more than one-third of Tempe households are at risk of homelessness due to paying more than 1/3 of their income towards costly housing expenses. TCAA helps to prevent homelessness through our emergency rent and utility assistance services. For men and women who are currently homeless, the I-HELP program provides a pathway back to housing permanency.

For over 16 years TCAA has successfully operated the Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program (I-HELP), Tempe's sole shelter program for adults (age 18 years and older) who are experiencing homelessness in Tempe. I-HELP is a unique and cost-effective model strengthened by the longstanding and generous support of several local faith organizations and hundreds of community volunteers who come together to provide overnight sleeping space and evening meals for the individuals enrolled in I-HELP. Each night I-HELP shelters, feeds, and cares for up to 60 men and women. During the day, program participants work with TCAA staff at the new OASIS Drop-In Center to prepare for transitioning to permanent housing. Hot showers and laundry services are made possible with TCAA’s mobile trailers. I-HELP operates in Tempe seven nights per week, 365 days a year. 

With our 90-day shelter program, including help from TCAA’s intensive case management and resource navigation services, I-HELP clients can resolve barriers and end their period of homelessness by:

  • Securing important identification documents
  • Preparing for employment
  • Accessing bus and light rail passes
  • Enrolling in public benefits such as SNAP, Medicaid, and Veterans’ services
  • Addressing health concerns including primary care, mental health, and substance abuse treatment
  • Locating permanent housing
  • Periodic visits from Project ID and Circle the City
  • Volunteerism and employment opportunities

I-HELP shelters more than 350 men and women each year and assists another 350 to find alternatives to shelter services. 

If you are age 18 and older and in need of I-HELP emergency shelter services, call and leave a message on the I-HELP Hotline at (480) 590-5514 Your call will be returned by the I-HELP staff.  If beds are available, an appointment for an intake interview will be scheduled. Shelter beds are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are reserved only for those who are actively engaged in case management services.

During these hot summer months please visit The Heat Relief Network.

The Heat Relief Network is a regional partnership of the Maricopa Association of Governments, municipalities, nonprofit organizations, the faith-based community, and businesses. Each year, MAG coordinates the mapping of the Heat Relief Network, a network of partners providing hydration stations, refuge locations, and water donation sites throughout the Valley with the goal of preventing heat-related illnesses and deaths among vulnerable populations.

How you can help today

Sponsor one man or woman as they journey from homelessness to independence: $800

The I-HELP shelter program not only provides a safe place to sleep, but also a spectrum of services to prepare men and women for employment, financial stability, and permanent housing. Take advantage of the Arizona charitable tax credit at the same time! 

Sponsor one night of shelter and additional services for a man or woman in need:  $35

TCAA asking your help to ensure that people who are homeless have an alternative to life on the street. Last year the I-HELP Shelter program assisted 478 adults, but sadly, more than 300 others were turned away primarily due to lack of space.

Donate travel-sized toiletries and laundry pods to continue these services for people in need.

Ever consider how people who are homeless address their hygiene needs? TCAA operates a mobile shower and laundry trailers, made possible by Tempe Leadership, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Tempe’s faith community.

Volunteer: Register your family, friends, congregation members, or co-worker group

Did you know that volunteers just like you prepare and serve nutritious, home-cooked meals every night of the year for the men and women served in TCAA’s I-HELP Shelter program? Last year alone volunteers provided food and service for more than 19,000 meals. Your help is needed! We’re creating the 2020 meal calendar now. Email Deb Bacorn.

Support continued success by making a donation

Since TCAA and the Tempe Interfaith Fellowship established the I-HELP Shelter program together in 2006, thousands of men and women were helped to overcome homelessness and experience greater self-reliance. With support from people like you, I-HELP has provided safe shelter to 7,458 men and women and placed 888 into permanent housing. Everyone deserves a placed called home. Make a donation today.

Other Ways You Can Help

TCAA relies on support from the community to meet the need for emergency rent and utility payments for families struggling financially and shelter services for men and women who are experiencing homelessness. Volunteer and donor support are critical to these programs.

  • Educate your community about issues relating to affordable housing and homelessness
  • Volunteer to help prepare and serve meals at an I-HELP site or serve at the front desk to help greet clients, answer phones and assist staff
  • Conduct a Supply Drive to collect much-needed hygiene items, socks, sweaters, linens, bus tickets, and laundry cards for homeless men and women
  • Teach a job readiness class and help I-HELP clients with resume development and job search. Other class or group ideas? We can host these opportunities at our new OASIS Drop-In Center, too. Contact our Homeless Services Manager, Blake Hampton for more information

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