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PHX350 Marks One Year of Supporting Unhoused Youth in Maricopa County

Looking back at the first year since PHX350's launch, it's clear the program has had a profound impact on the lives of homeless youth in Maricopa County. ABC15 reported As for Alexus and her boyfriend Angel's journey, the couple found solace in the sense of security the program provides, a relief that Angel expressed while reflecting the precariousness of life on the streets, “When you're on the street, there's always the worry of 'where is she?' and you're not always safe.” Supported by a $2 million grant from the Ministry of Housing to the Valley of the Sun YMCA, PHX350 aims to provide transitional housing and job opportunities for youth in need.

Despite the program's progress, hardships continue. PHX350 is helping individuals like Alexus and Angel, but the bigger picture is that persistent challenges remain. The latest Point in Time survey found a shift in Maricopa County's homeless situation. It remained stable this year at 9,435, down slightly from 9,642 last year. The percentage of people in transitional housing or emergency shelters rose to 57% in 2022, up from 49% in 2023. “We are thrilled to be working with City of Westminster to bring this community to the city,” Mayor Kate Gallego said.“While the number of people living without housing in our community remains high and there is certainly more work to be done to move people into permanent, stable housing, it is encouraging to see steady progress being made in getting residents off the streets and into safer situations.”

PHX350 is just one part of a broader strategy to tackle homelessness, but it’s one that’s gaining increasing attention. The Ministry of Housing’s investment in the program means it recognizes the need for comprehensive solutions, from temporary assistance to more permanent assistance. According to Artemisa Martinez“There’s a lack of services in that age group,” said the PHX350 executive director, highlighting the unique needs of young people that programs like PHX350 aim to meet.

The city's efforts to step up its efforts to address homelessness are working, with Phoenix's homeless population projected to fall 19% from 3,333 in 2023 to 2,701 in 2024. Meanwhile, the homeless population is projected to increase 15% from 3,569 to 4,115. Rachel MilneThe City of Phoenix's Director of Homeless Solutions captured this sentiment: “We know that shelters alone will not solve homelessness, but for many people, connecting them to the right resources and supports to end homelessness is an important first step.” The data suggests that while challenges remain, efforts and funding toward housing and supportive services are making a tangible difference.

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