As a 48 year-old man with disabilities that make him unable to
work, Marcus wishes his life was different. He used to work as a chef and
caterer in the Midwest before he moved to Maricopa County for a change.
Unfortunately, in addition to the change in scenery, in 2015 he also developed
Valley Fever and meningitis. His life spiraled downward as he spent 2 ½ months
in the hospital. With his savings depleted, Marcus found himself at a homeless
While the quality of Marcus’ life could have continued its
downward trend, he was able to secure permanent housing through a non-profit
organization that placed him in his own apartment in July 2016. A caseworker
helped him find furniture and apply for disability and other benefits. After
receiving rental assistance for six months, Marcus now has secure housing and
pays his own rent.
Marcus’ success story was made possible through a public-private
partnership that has moved more than 250 people from emergency shelter into
their own apartments. He is just one of the participants in a rapid
rehousing program that serves single adults.
A newly-released report proves rapid rehousing’s success. Funded by $2.5
million in government and philanthropic funds, a funders’ collaborative allowed
the Maricopa County and Phoenix Industrial Development Authorities, Valley of the Sun
United Way, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and Arizona Community
Foundation to address housing for single adults in a new way. The report shows that
rapid rehousing costs less than anticipated and is less expensive than
providing night-to-night solutions for the homeless population.
Housing costs did not rise above $7,200, and some people were
housed and received additional supportive services for less than $5,000. Other
studies estimate the cost of homelessness can be as high as $40,000 annually,
so rapid rehousing is a proven, cost-effective solution.
“Many people run into unexpected emergencies that push them into
homelessness,” said Bruce Liggett, Director of the Maricopa County Human
Services Department. “This report confirms that our collaboration had an
incredible impact in addressing homelessness and returning people to productive
lives. Now, we need to continue it.”