Log in

Arizona Housing Coalition Blog

  • July 01, 2018 7:00 AM | Deleted user
    One year ago, on July 1st, after nearly two years of exploratory work and preparation, the combined forces of the former Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness and the Arizona Housing Alliance merged to form the Arizona Housing Coalition.

    We are a collaborative association that leads in the efforts to end homelessness and advocate for a safe, affordable home for ALL Arizonans, made up of over 200 organizational members doing the work every day to serve our most vulnerable populations, directed by leaders and experts, with the support of advocates across our state, fighting to serve and house Arizona. 

    There could not be a more critical time to amplify the voice for affordable housing solutions, in addition to increased funding for supportive services to help all Arizonans get and maintain safe, stable housing. Across the state, and nation, we're seeing headline, after headline, after headline, after headline, and even more headlines about the short supply of housing options affordable to so many, but especially our state's working class and minimum-wage earners. According to a national report released this year, Arizona is short nearly 160,000 affordable housing units, and in the face of that shortage, an Arizona minimum-wage worker would have to work 1.8 full time jobs, or 70+ hours per week, in order to afford a modest two-bedroom rental. Despite an increase in the minimum wage statewide, the costs of living continue to outpace income levels for those already living paycheck to paycheck, particularly in FlagstaffMaricopa County, and Prescott.  

    So what has been done, is being done, and can be done about this ever growing crisis?

    At the Arizona Housing Coalition, we continue to push forward in our work to end homelessness and housing instability through advocacy, education, and collaboration. 

    IMPACT SNAPSHOT

    ADVOCACY

    • Continued our efforts to restore the state housing trust fund. We were successful in seeing that all future net earnings from the AZ Housing Finance Authority’s single family mortgage programs are transferred to the State Housing Trust Fund.  But even with the estimated $2.5 million in earnings of that fund transfer, is falls far short from the $30 million the fund once had to meet the housing needs of our growing state.  We are encouraged by off-session bipartisan legislative discussions to restore this funding stream
    • Built relationships and educated lawmakers on efforts to localize the federal low income housing tax credit at the state level to foster the public-private partnership necessary to see additional affordable homes created in our state.
    • Warded off attacks at the federal level to slash investments in affordable housing through advocacy alerts, letter writing campaigns, district visits, and Capitol Hill lobbying efforts. 

    EDUCATION

    • The 24th Annual Statewide Conference attracted over 550+ homeless and housing service professionals for its second sell out year, with over 55 interactive, informative sessions 
    • Since 2015, over 1,700 professionals statewide have received 200+ hours of training and education on best practices in ending homelessness.

    COLLABORATION

    • Execute the goals and objectives of the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services Action Plan to End Homelessness Among Veterans Update and work towards creating a statewide By-Name List of Veterans experiencing homelessness and then work to reduce their housing crisis.
    • Overhauled the veteran toolkit procurement efforts, which assists veterans who have secured employment yet may be in need of supplies or resources in preparation for the first day on the job, such as safety helmets, work boots, or specialized tools. 
    • Continue work in the community around access and opportunities for all Arizonans, including access to fair, safe, and an affordable place to call home.

    WHAT'S NEXT?

    ADVOCATE
    Policy is moving quickly at all levels from federal to state to municipal. We've seen progress, like the creation of "opportunity zones" by the federal tax cuts, and the recent decision by the Flagstaff City Council to include a $25 million affordable housing bond to the November ballot. But we've also seen setbacks, primarily at the federal level with proposed rescission cuts to the federal budget, proposed rent hikes, and proposed work requirements for those in most need of public assistance. Continue to be an advocate for an end to homelessness through increased access to and supply of affordable housing options by JOINING US. Learn more about membership and subscribe to our Advocacy Alerts to stay in the know. 

    We also encourage all members and homeless and housing service professionals to join us on the links for our Annual Networking and Golf Outing at Starr Pass Golf Club in Tucson on Wednesday, August 22nd, or at our Annual Member Meeting & Networking Reception, held in conjunction with the ADOH Housing Forum, coming up Thursday, August 23rd, from 6:00PM to 8:00PM. Learn more and register for the golf event HERE, and RSVP to attend our networking reception HERE.

    EDUCATE
    We invite our members interested in professional development to join us for our upcoming "Fair Housing & Tenancy Training" presented by our friends from the Southwest Fair Housing Council and Community Legal Services of Arizona, on Thursday, August 2nd in Phoenix. Learn more & register HERE.

    Coming up in November is our 25th Annual Statewide Conference, which is bittersweet as we celebrate a quarter of a century of providing training and awareness to direct-service providers working to end homelessness across Arizona. This year, we are excited to welcome as our keynote Mr. Richard Rothstein, author of the bestselling book, "The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America." Following along with national conversations about the intersections of health and housing as well as equity and housing justice, we look forward to providing a professional development and networking setting to push these conversations forward into action which results in healthy, housed communities throughout Arizona. Learn more about the conference HERE.

    COLLABORATE
    We are proud of the work being done through our program, the Arizona Veterans StandDown Alliance, working to coordinate the annual Maricopa County StandDown and other statewide StandDowns and veteran resource fairs. Still to come this year is the White Mountain StandDown in Show Low on Saturday, August 11th; the Cochise County StandDown in Sierra Vista on Saturday, August 18th; the Yavapai County StandDown in Prescott on Friday and Saturday, September 28th-29th; and the Western Arizona StandDown in Yuma on Wednesday, October 24th. We are also excited to announce the 2019 Maricopa County StandDown will be held January 24th-26th at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. Learn more and get involved in our work to end homelessness, starting with veterans, by clicking HERE.


    Armed with this information about the ever growing need for funding and increased investments in affordable housing, we thank you for your advocacy and look forward to your continued support as we work towards lasting solutions. As we move into our second year as the Arizona Housing Coalition, we are honored to count you as a valued supporter and partner in this work, and look forward to continuing to be the voice for the many organizations, agencies, and programs working to end homelessness and housing instability in Arizona every single day.

    In solidarity,
    Joan Serviss
    Executive Director
    joan@azhousingcoalition.org

  • January 03, 2018 8:30 AM | Deleted user

    EXCITING NEW SERVICES!

    Each year we look forward to learning directly from StandDown participants about the needs of our military veterans at risk of or already experiencing homelessness, and there has consistently been a tremendous need for dental services. We are excited to provide 25 full-service dental chairs at this years' event, in partnership with Central Arizona Dental Society's Mission of Mercy

    According to the VA, access to dental care was consistently ranked by veterans experiencing homelessness as one of their top 3 unmet needs, along with long-term permanent housing and childcare. Dental issues, such as persistent pain and/or missing teeth can be tremendous barriers in seeking and obtaining employment. Studies have shown that many veterans report that after dental care they feel a significant improvement in perceived oral health, general health and overall self-esteem. Which is why we are eager to work in partnership with Mission of Mercy to assist in meeting this growing need. 

    NEW SERVICES BRING CHANGE

    With this exciting new addition of much-needed dental services, clothing and shoes will no longer be given at the Maricopa County StandDown.  Additionally, overnight services will no longer take place at the event.

    This is not because there is no longer a need for clothing -- there is, and we value our many community partners who gather and distribute much-needed boots, shoes, and clothing year-round. This is because the needs of those we serve each year have evolved, and we pride ourselves on being responsive to those wants and needs in order to provide the most effective assistance. 

    In 2006, 80% of the veterans served at the event met the definition of homeless; in 2017, just 17% of the veterans served were sleeping in shelters or on the streets this past January. Where there was once overwhelming need for emergency shelter and immediate assistance like hygiene and clothing, annual event demographics and statistics in recent years have consistently shown a shift in community need for more in-depth resource connection, such as education and job readiness programs, access to free or low-cost health, vision, and dental care, connection to a variety of housing providers, and more.  And due to these changes, event organizers will work hard to refer any street-living veteran attending the event to available veteran-dedicated beds in community shelters.

    ​In addition, as our event has grown to serve over 2,000 veterans annually, the expense of providing a new pair of shoes to everyone in attendance at this single two-day event has become cost prohibitive and we look forward to re-allocating these funds to better serve statewide, year-round work being done to end homelessness, starting with veterans. 

    Our veterans seek a hand up, not a hand out. With your support, we look forward to continuing to be that helping hand by providing even more needed services in the years to come. 

       null   null

  • January 02, 2018 10:13 AM | Deleted user

    This year, our resolution is to be your primary source of information and updates on the work being done to end homelessness by advocating for safe, affordable homes for ALL Arizonans.

    HOW WILL WE KEEP YOU INFORMED?

    1) The Coalition Connection

    We'll keep you up to date with the Arizona Housing Coalition's new monthly newsletter, The Coalition Connection, hitting your inbox every first Tuesday of the month! This will include important Coalition updates, along with the latest from our Arizona Veterans StandDown Alliance, and more! 

    2) Let's UNJUMBLE the JARGON >>> 

    For us to be the best advocates possible, it's important we speak the same language! Look out on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram every Monday where we'll share industry words, acronyms, and phrases to help us all better understand how to speak about and advocate for HOUSING FOR ALL.

    3) Timely News & Information

    Watch for time-sensitive updates from us in your inbox, like advocacy alerts and special announcements, on our social media, and even in your mailbox throughout the year! Or contact us and let us know what you'd like to learn more about. 

    We look forward to working alongside each of you throughout 2018 to advance our mission of ending homelessness by advocating for safe, affordable homes for ALL Arizonans. 

  • December 15, 2017 1:02 PM | Deleted user

    After 10 years of committed service, Valerie Iverson retires from AHA/AZHC


    Valerie, or Val as she is fondly known, is the current co-executive director of the newly merged Arizona Housing Coalition, and was the executive director of the former Arizona Housing Alliance for the last ten years, adding to her over 25 years of service. In her quarter of a century of experience, Val has worked in community development research, policy, advocacy, and finance and has worked in the nonprofit, private, and government sectors, impacting significant and lasting change across many important issues from affordable housing to health care throughout her career.

    During her time with the Arizona Housing Alliance, and now through the Arizona Housing Coalition, Val has led and directed the activities of this emerging nonprofit including strategic housing leadership, state and federal housing advocacy, business development, training and event coordination, public relations, board coordination and financial management.

    Her coalition building successes include the Arizona Affordable Homes Network, the Housing Counseling Initiative, and the Restore the State Housing Trust Fund Campaign. She is a founding member of the Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities, a collaboration of the community development and health sectors working to improve the built environment in low income neighborhoods so that all of Arizona’s communities are healthy places to live, learn, work and play. In 2015, Val also lead and created a Mobile Home Working Group (MHWG) to look at the issues surrounding distressed mobile home parks and to identify strategies that can be implemented to alleviate the hardship to residents of these parks.

    Val is also a founding board member of several nonprofit advocacy organizations. She holds a MBA in Finance from Syracuse University and a Masters in Economic Geography from New Mexico State University. Val looks forward to enjoying a busy 'retirement,' spending quality time with her family and friends, further exploring exciting hobbies and passion projects. 

    Stop in to wave hello, say see ya later, and enjoy some cake & punch!

    Before she leaves us, we hope you'll join us in honoring Val, her years of impact, and the many ways in which she will remain a part of our work for years to come. Stop by to wave hello, say see you later, and enjoy some cake & punch at a farewell party: 

    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20TH
    CAKE & PUNCH RECEPTION
    10:00AM TO 12:00PM
    TRELLIS • 1405 E. MCDOWELL ROAD
    PHOENIX, 85006


    null
    (RSVP encouraged, but not required.)

    Unable to attend? Send well wishes!
    'Tis the season for jam-packed schedules! If you're unable to attend, but would still like to send Val a friendly farewell, we encourage you to send well wishes to her at the following:
    Send email thank yous & well wishes to Val at:
    Send snail mail thank yous & well wishes to Val at:
    Val Iverson
    % Arizona Housing Coalition
    141 E. Palm Lane, Suite #105
    Phoenix, AZ 85004
    We hope to see you there! If you have any questions about this farewell reception, please contact Sylvia Waynick at sylvia@azhousingcoalition.org
  • June 30, 2017 3:39 PM | Anonymous

    Housing advocacy in Arizona is now twice as strong as the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness and the Arizona Housing Alliance form the ARIZONA HOUSING COALITION


    Newly merged board and staff of the Arizona Housing Coalition brings together top leaders in the fight to end homelessness and work toward affordable housing solutions. 

    Effective July 1, 2017, the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness (AZCEH) and the Arizona Housing Alliance will be known as the Arizona Housing Coalition.

    In April, after nearly two years of exploratory work and preparation, the board of directors of both organizations voted to create the Arizona Housing Coalition in order to have a greater impact on policy decisions and resources for housing and homelessness, and better position ourselves to serve our over 200 organizational members. The ARIZONA HOUSING COALITION will be a collaborative association that leads in the efforts to end homelessness and provide safe, affordable homes for all Arizonans. 

    With this merger will come increased collective impact as the Arizona Housing Coalition is now better positioned to meet affordable housing expansion goals and to end homelessness through a stronger advocacy voice. A majority of the programming of each agency will remain in place and be improved upon. As will major existing programming ranging from the annual homeless conference and healthy communities conference, to the Maricopa County StandDown and other statewide StandDowns and veteran resource fairs.

    WHAT'S NEXT?

    LAUNCH PARTY - SAVE THE DATE! 

    Join us for the NEW website reveal of the Arizona Housing Coalition at our annual member meeting, held in conjunction with the Arizona Department of Housing's annual Housing Forum. 

    THURSDAY, AUGUST 24TH • 5-7PM

    Your support is incredibly valued -- we simply could not do this work without you! As we move forward with the work of merging these two strong advocacy organizations, we look forward to your continued support in this work to end homelessness and provide safe, affordable housing for all Arizonans. 

    Please continue to stay in touch and we hope to see you at a meeting, golf outing, or conference in the near future!

    _________________________________________

     

    NOTE: During this time of merger transition, AZCEH and Arizona Housing Alliance will retain staff email addresses as well as current websites for the purposes of registration of the 8th Annual Networking & Golf Outing and the 24th Annual Statewide Conference on Ending Homelessness. We look forward to our new website reveal at our member meeting on August 24th. For the latest information regarding the Arizona Housing Coalition, please visit our Facebook page.

    _________________________________________

    For critical assistance and support
    throughout this merger process,
    MANY SPECIAL THANKS TO






  • May 23, 2017 11:08 AM | Anonymous

    We appreciate the recent media attention and societal conversation centered on homelessness and the shortage of affordable housing. These stories show us the importance of home and connect us together. When we think of home, we think of talk around the dinner table, helping kids with homework,  a place to get a good night’s sleep. We all have special memories of home.

    But many Arizonans see home as a struggle. A struggle to pay rent, to keep the utilities on, to keep our kids safe. This struggle is caused by an income-housing mismatch in Arizona. We simply are not building the right mix of homes to meet the income levels of our residents.


    The Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness and the Arizona Housing Alliance (soon to be merging into one organization to amplify the issue of ending homelessness and affordable housing) believe that every Arizonan should have a safe, affordable place to call home.  Hard working families, veterans, and people with disabilities should be able to pay for a home and still have enough left over to buy basics like groceries and gas. When people live in stable homes, children achieve more in school, families are stronger, and seniors and people with disabilities are healthier. 


    In addition to the depressing tale the recent news articles tell, it’s regrettable they are released just as the state Legislature adjourns.  Because while the diligent work of the media in highlighting what you as a citizen can do to help those most in need is crucial in helping individuals and providers alike, there are several policy choices our elected officials, particularly at the state and local level, could take.

    • Restore the state housing trust fund 
      Public investment is necessary to ensure the private housing market works for all Arizonans. During the recession, the state legislature cut the state housing trust fund from $30 million to $2.5 million. That $30 million prevented 6,000 Arizonans annually from entering homeless shelters, and helped the 3,000 in shelters get the services they needed to get back on their feet.  It also created affordable apartments and helped repair our aging rural housing stock. It’s no wonder we’re seeing more and more people living on the streets. The state housing trust fund should be restored.

    • Increase the state lottery allocation to homeless services
      Lotteries are often called the poor man’s retirement plan, so maybe that’s why state lawmakers allocate $1 million of lottery proceeds to address homelessness. But that’s hardly enough to keep folks who are living paycheck to paycheck or who experience a job or health setback from showing up on the doorstep of a homeless shelter.  For almost a decade the state has not allocated any new funding to prevent and assist folks losing their homes.  It’s time to increase the state lottery allocation to homeless services to meet these new challenges. 

    • Support all developments that include housing that is affordable
      Quality rental apartments are incredibly scarce and expensive. More people have become renters, driving up rents. Yet incomes have remained stagnant. We estimate there is a shortage of 210,000 affordable homes to match the income levels of residents in our state. To make sure people can find decent housing at reasonable costs, city leaders and neighborhoods should support every development that increases the supply of safe, affordable homes 

    Home brings us together. It is one of the few experiences we all share. It intersects with almost every other social issue, from education and health, to employment and public safety. A safe, affordable home for every Arizonan is possible. We just need the political will to make it happen. 

    Sincerely,

    Joan Serviss                                                       Val Iverson
    Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness          Arizona Housing Alliance

  • May 10, 2017 8:42 PM | Anonymous

    After a SELL OUT conference last year, we could not be more excited for this year's 24th Annual Statewide Conference on Ending Homelessness, which will be held on Monday, October 2nd, and Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017, at the Black Canyon Conference Center in Phoenix, AZ. 

    ANNOUNCING THE 2017 CONFERENCE THEME 
    This year’s theme, “Take Action: Building Homes, Breaking Down Walls,” is a natural continuation of the theme of the last three years in which the focus was on how to tell the story of our work. This year, we look forward to providing a more solid platform in which to learn how to TAKE ACTION with your stories in meaningful and impactful ways – in your workplace, in the state and federal legislature, and in the hearts and minds of our neighbors. 

    ANNOUNCING THE 2017 KEYNOTE SPEAKER
    With the merging of these two member-based organizations in mind, the Arizona Housing Coalition is pleased to announce our 2017 primary keynote speaker as Dr. Tiffany Manuel, Vice President of Knowledge, Impact & Strategy at Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., and the lead author of "You Don't Have to Live Here: Why Housing Messages Are Backfiring and 10 Things We Can Do About It." As the Alliance's membership of housing professionals and developers begin to mix and mingle with AZCEH's homeless service professionals, it is our hope that we can all come together to find our collective message and voice in order to more effectively impact the hearts & minds of our elected officials, peers and colleagues, and neighbors alike. 

    HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Awards
    Each year, we look forward to honoring some of our state's most hardest working at the Awards of Excellence in eight categories celebrating every level from direct-service to business partnership to lifetime achievement. 
    Click HERE to learn more and NOMINATE SOMEONE TODAY!

    HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Sessions
    With the potential for over 8 tracks and up to 60 sessions, all intended to strengthen Arizona’s capacity to end homelessness through strengthening provider organizations, practical application of innovative as well as time-tested strategies that have resulted in successfully ending homelessness, and building the skills of and helping professionals at all levels who are seeking to prevent and end homelessness.
    Click HERE to see past years' sessions & speakers
    Click HERE to submit a proposal to present

    HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Sponsorships
    We couldn't do what we do without the generous support of our sponsors, many of whom can be found on-site at the event with lots of goodies, giveaways, and info about why their work is meaningful to yours. 
    Click HERE to learn about sponsorship opportunities

    HOW TO GET INVOLVED: ATTEND! You just can't wait to attend...how do you sign up?
    Registration will open in TWO phases:

    As conference details continue to be finalized, we look forward to sharing more information with you here and look forward to seeing you at this year's conference!
  • April 04, 2016 6:38 PM | Anonymous

    On April 5th, 2016 the nonprofits in Arizona will be coming out of the woodwork, buzzing with news. Other than the fact that it’s Pharrell Williams’ birthday, why is this day so important? Every year, The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits throws the Arizona Gives Day, which happens to be tomorrow. The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits is an action-oriented group of partners across the state – both nonprofits and those in the community who support them – dedicated to furthering the common interests of Arizona’s nonprofits, and they’re doing just that.

    Arizona Gives Day, on the other hand, is a 24 hour online donation experience that unites Arizonans around causes they believe in. Last year alone, over 17,000 people donated a total of $2,054,417 to nonprofits throughout Arizona, with an average of $86 donated per person. In addition, about 800 nonprofits are expected to participate in this year’s Arizona Gives Day, which is a 28% increase from last year’s event. Last year, there was also a 25% increase in donations, which is thought to be because of an increase in interest of Arizonans to support the nonprofit sector, Kristen Merrifield, CAE, Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits suggests.

    Because of our amazing donors, the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness raised $21,380 dollars from 179 donations. Due to raising so much money, we got 5th place in total donations received, causing us to receive an additional $4,000 prize. Through last year’s donations, AZCEH was able to put donations specifically for the Arizona Veteran StandDown Alliance toward the annual Arizona Veteran StandDowns held throughout the state as well as putting unspecified donations towards AZCEH’s efforts in ending homelessness through legislative, policy, and education activities.

    This year, we are setting the ambitious goal of $10,000 raised, but we can’t do it without your help. Please consider donating to the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness so we can further support and advocate for Arizona’s homeless and homeless service providers throughout Arizona. If you would like to schedule a donation, please click here.

  • March 22, 2016 2:42 PM | Anonymous

    A few months ago, I had the honor of speaking with those who work for the Virginia Housing Alliance (VHA), which is a result of the merger between the Virginia Housing Coalition and the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness. During this encounter, I spoke with members of their staff on what VHA has been doing to end homelessness, their new training center as well as their work with various AmeriCorps programs.

    As many know, Virginia was the first state to announce they have successfully ended veteran homelessness. Some may question this, thinking that there’s no possible way to have actually ended veteran homelessness. The most important point to make when talking about ending veteran homelessness, Virginia Housing Alliance’s own AmeriCorps VISTA Tommy Joe Bednar stresses, is the fact that they are at a functional zero. For those who don’t know, functional zero essentially means that there are more people being housed than there are homeless individuals per month. VHA has played a key role in this effort by working with the Virginia Department of Veteran Services (DVS) to launch a statewide Veteran Summit and training boot camp, which pushed Virginia’s Action Plan to End Veteran Homelessness into being, as well as spearheading 100 Day Challenges. The training boot camp was a two-day intensive event where community members from Richmond, Roanoke and Hampton Roads came together to asses what was needed to reach the goal of ending veteran homelessness, along with the steps to reach said goal. The 100 Day Challenge was a challenge for Richmond, Roanoke, Hampton Roads and Peninsula to house 370 veterans in 100 days. Remarcably, 462 veterans were either housed or were in the process of becoming housed.

    I know you’re probably sitting there thinking “yes, this is an unbelievably amazing feat… but what else?” Well, dear reader, I’ll tell you! Similarly to the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness, VHA began to realize that access to quality, affordable trainings for homeless service providers in their area was scarce. So, after much time and effort, the Virginia Housing Education and Learning Partnership (VA-HELP) was born, granting access to professional development, organizational development, and a range of other activities to support the nonprofit housing industry. Their trainings are decided by simply asking their members what trainings they need to best improve their work, and by doing so, they are able to meet their community’s needs. Coincidentally enough, they kicked off their first of many trainings yesterday with the topic of Fair Housing and Accessibility, presented by Robert S Ardinger, President of Ardinger Consultants & Associates.

    But wait -- there’s more! What may be most remarkable of all is their ability to utilize community resources like AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTAs) and teams from the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (AmeriCorps NCCC). For those who are unaware, AmeriCorps programs engage Americans in intensive service with nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. AmeriCorps VISTAs have a year long commitment and generally do not provide direct services, instead they work on building up the organizational, administrative and financial capacity of whatever organization they work with. Team members of AmeriCorps NCCC, however, must be between the ages of 18-24 as well as live and work on a team of 8-12, have a 10 month commitment but change jobs every 6-10 weeks.

    VHA has committed to having 10 total AmeriCorps VISTAs placed throughout the state, 7 of which are with various Continua of Care (CoC), 1 is with a direct service organization, and 2 work directly with VHA. By spreading out these VISTAs, this creates a centralized discussion and the ability to share resources and best practices the VISTAs have found, Tommy Joe explains. Due to this capacity building effort, it brings a more universal and inclusive approach to ending homelessness, giving CoCs the ability to efficiently work together and share with each other what they’ve found to work best in their own community, so others are able to use similar methods.

    The AmeriCorps NCCC teams, however, work on different approaches. Last year, their main focus was working with veterans, whether that be filling out the VI-SPDAT, helping with donations like food, clothing & furniture, doing landscaping work for local homeless service providers and more in Hampton. This year, their focus will be less on veterans and more on chronic homelessness in general. It’s important to note that VHA acted as an intermediary for these teams and their site(s). If you are in Virginia and would like an AmeriCorps NCCC team through VHA -- don’t wait! They are still accepting applications until COB Friday, April 8th.

    All in all, VHA is doing amazing work in many different aspects, some not even discussed in this blog post since there is simply too much to cover. Although it’s hard to keep in mind a lot of the time, we need to recognize more often what other parts of the country are doing in order to keep learning more ways to end homelessness, discovering other best practices and just all-around collaboration.


    If you are interested in learning more about VHA and their efforts in ending homelessness throughout the Virginia Commonwealth, please visit http://vahousingalliance.org.

  • March 14, 2016 7:29 PM | Anonymous

    With Arizona Gives Day coming increasingly fast, many people are wondering what their donation dollars even do and how their donations will be utilized to their fullest effects. There are many types of donors, but we’re first going to focus on the question: why donate?


    There are many advantages for you to donate to your favorite nonprofit, on both a personal level as well as for the nonprofit in general. By donating, you are helping out that nonprofit stay afloat and therefore helping others receive the services they need. You may not have time in your day to  volunteer -- that is perfectly fine! Donations can help in a multitude of ways. For example, by donating to the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness, your donations can go to a multitude of places! Donations help with the Arizona Veteran StandDown Alliance, funding our statewide trainings to help service providers learn best practices on ending homelessness, our annual conference along with many other opportunities. As we all very well know, nonprofits rely heavily on donations. What most people don’t know, however, is the fact that every little bit counts. Think about it -- if, let’s say, 50 people wanted to donate $10 that’s already $500! Every single person who donates, whether it be large sums of money or smaller ones, makes an impact on the work we do in some capacity.


    On a personal level, when we donate to most nonprofits, or 501(c)(3)s, we get money taken off of our taxes. This is called a charitable tax credit, which provides a credit towards how much you must pay in taxes. In the case of charitable tax credits, you may donate up to $200 if you are filing as a single person or you may donate up to $400 as a married person filing jointly in order to get this tax credit. Pretty cool, right? In all actuality, you aren’t spending a dime!


    The final point I’d like to touch on is the ever-common restricted funding. Restricted funding is the act of funding an organization and saying they can only use your money for certain projects. As pointed out by Vu Le, one of AZCEH’s keynotes from last year’s conference and author of the blog Nonprofit With Balls, in one of his blog posts titled “The Myth of Double-Dipping and the Destructiveness of Restricted Funding”, restricted funding takes away from the actual work, it prevents innovation, it wastes time and burns people out. “You are supporting everything,” Vu notes. “We don’t have separate accounts for just your funds. Your money goes into one bank account, like water into one bucket, from which we nourish the beautiful flowers of justice. It’s all mixed. Accounting can tell you that yes, the 3 ounces of water you gave supported just the tulips of programming and not the disgusting weeds of admin and fundraising, but come on, since the water is all mixed together, every plant got a bit of your funding.”


    So, let’s say, you’re a funder for AZCEH and you would like to donate purely to the annual Maricopa County StandDown. This is problematic because many people don’t realize how much actually goes into this event. StandDown requires a lot of time and planning, done by a staff members who must be paid, paper to post signs throughout the venue, ink to print those signs, office space to plan the event as well as electricity and water, along with so much more. While yes, all donations are graciously accepted, please recognize the effects of not providing general operating funds.


    With all of that said, take note of what Vu points out in his post. “Provide general operating funds: This is the most effective form of funding, and the most efficient, and also the most equitable. Give nonprofits the flexibility to focus on outcomes and results. If all funders give general operating funds and focus on outcomes, it would save hundreds of thousands of hours that could be put to better use providing services. It may also, honestly, prevent a lot of us from rage-quitting the sector.”


    We hope you realize the impact of what you are able to do with just funding alone. You don’t always have to volunteer to make an impact on your community!


Arizona Housing Coalition is a 501(c)(3) non-profit
Federal Tax ID#: 86-0909029

AZHC is also the proud home of the 
Arizona Veterans StandDown Alliance

1495 E. Osborn Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 340-9393

CONTACT

Powered by Wild Apricot. Try our all-in-one platform for easy membership management