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Posted on: March 16, 2017

Maricopa County opens Welcome Center for homeless residents

Brian Garcia Welcome Center

Link to b-roll: https://youtu.be/z2XrEQaO0Ls

Homeless residents of Maricopa County can now access a full array of services through the new Brian Garcia Welcome Center. Located on the 13-acre Maricopa County Human Services Campus, the facility includes seven private intake areas for staff to assess both immediate and long-term needs of clients.

The center is part of a plan by the Human Services Campus and its public and private partners to continue improving needs assessments. The roughly 7,000 people expected to utilize the center each year will be asked about their needs for food, shelter, clothing, employment services, legal assistance, or reunification with family. Many individuals can be diverted from homelessness and lengthy shelter stays with short-term assistance. Referrals can be made to medical, mental health, and social services and other systems of care that can be accessed by veterans, single adults, families, and youth.

“This morning, we acted to improve the intake process at the Human Services Campus,” said Supervisor Steve Chucri, District 2. “This streamlined approach toward critical services can help end the cycle of homelessness.”

The Human Services Campus is implementing new approaches to address homelessness. The primary goal of “Housing First” is to place people in stable housing before agencies address long-term needs.

"We are looking for real solutions, not Band-Aid measures,” said Supervisor Steve Gallardo, District 5. “We’ve got to treat people as individuals who need help addressing their own unique sets of circumstances.” The 4,000 square-foot center is part of a campus that includes numerous non-profit and government agencies that partner to coordinate services. The Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority and the Garcia Family Foundation each provided $500,000 in capital funding for the Center with additional funding provided by Thunderbirds Charities.

"Inside this beautiful new building, we will welcome, engage and assess the needs of the men and women who arrive every day at the Campus hoping to end their homelessness,” said Mike McQuaid, President of the Human Services Campus Board of Directors. “The work done here will get individuals to the services they need in a faster and more efficient way than ever before. It’s an exciting day for all of us."

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