Recent weeks have brought devastating news for transitional housing agencies across the state: The federal funding they get from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is going away.
Here in Maricopa County, well-established organizations who serve homeless families are seeing their HUD funding slashed or zeroed out. A recent feature in the Arizona Republic describes seven affected agencies who are now “scrambling to keep their doors open,” with nearly 200 homeless families across the Valley at risk of eviction.
But are HUD’s actions creating a similar crisis at Homeward Bound?
The good news is that they’re not. That’s because last year we anticipated a shift in federal funding away from transitional housing facilities like ours and took preemptive steps to ensure the continued sustainability of our programming.
Although this decision has certainly created new economic challenges for our annual operating budget, careful preparation for the withdrawal in HUD funding has enabled us to continue programming for homeless families unabated, with our organization closing our fiscal year at full capacity in our housing program and going strong.
As we look to the future, we expect HUD’s emphasis on a housing-first policy to heat up competition for private funding among agencies facing federal cuts. However, Homeward Bound is prepared to meet this challenge and continue to grow in a responsible and sustainable way while relying on the core values we were founded on to guide us for the past 25 years: creating pathways out of poverty for homeless families ready to make a change.
Stay tuned for more updates from Homeward Bound as we refine our brand under a new logo that better reflects our agency’s transformation over the past 25 years and vision for our future.