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 more than 12 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 40 men and women. During the day, program participants work with TCAA staff 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 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

I-HELP shelters more than 350 men and women each year and assists another 250 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 480.422.8922 extension 5000. 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.

I-HELP Is a Community-Supported Solution to Ending Homelessness In Tempe

The I-HELP model is highly cost-effective as it makes use of existing capital structures and volunteer resources in Tempe. The model works, because the community works. Each night a different faith partner opens their doors and provides safe  sleeping space for women and men in TCAA's care. Volunteer groups (service clubs, church groups, businesses, and neighbors) take turns to prepare and serve the evening meal for each I-HELP guest. 

Interested in helping at I-HELP?

Additional facilities are needed to shelter more individuals, and meal partners are needed to prepare and serve meals in the coming months. Contact TCAA today if you'd like to learn more, contribute time or resources to alleviate homelessness in Tempe, and see I-HELP in action.

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 is 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
  • 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
  • Serve as a front desk volunteer to help greet clients, answer phones and assist staff
  • Become a sponsor and/or participant at the Annual I-HELP Walk to Alleviate Homelessness, held each spring in Tempe