Across the United States, about 1.8 million Americans are without shelter. They are considered homeless. A large percentage of the adult homeless population are living with physical or mental disabilities. When homelessness happens to someone you know and love, it can be painfully heartbreaking to know that they have no place to sleep. It feels hopeless when someone has lost everything they have and have ever known. It can almost feel worse than losing a friend or family member to a death in some cases.
Our mental health system is broken in the sense that people who are living below the poverty level cannot afford to receive the adequate care they need to thrive in the real world. This puts unimaginable stress on individuals; however there are nonprofits dedicated to helping those people who have fallen between the cracks.
To know that we have people in our society who live below the poverty line shouldn’t be something that we shun or shy away from. It’s not a stigma for people to be poor, yet they are still treated as second-class citizens. Being poor can make you feel as if you are on the fringe of society, and when homelessness hits you are pushed that much further away from your identity.
Thankfully in Arizona we have some amazing nonprofits helping people who are homeless and in need. These charities will shelter, feed and clothe entire families.
Lodestar Day Resource Center
1125 West Jackson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
The Lodestar Day Resource Center on the Human Services Campus houses several agencies that assist clients in reorganizing their lives:
The Madison Street Veterans Association
The New Arid Club (Alcoholics Anonymous)
St. Joseph the Worker
Central Arizona Shelter Services
Maricopa County Health Care for the Homeless
NOVA Safe Haven
St. Vincent de Paul
The Chaplaincy (which offers help in getting identification documents)
Andre House (a facility that offers meals, restrooms, clothing, reading material) and Interfaith Cooperative Ministries (offering job assistance, a food bank, clothing).
Other agencies that assist people who are seeking help with needs for job assistance, shelter, food, clothing, health care and other services are:
The Salvation Army
Here is a website that lists services available for assistance with homelessness in Arizona: homelessshelterdirectory.org