AJ Homeless Coalition Wins Regional Honor

By Al Bravo

The Apache Junction Chronic Homeless Coalition on Wednesday received a public partnership award from the Maricopa Association of Governments.

The coalition and the Community Resource Center, which is housed at the Genesis Project, were honored with the Desert Peaks award in ceremonies at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel in Phoenix on Wednesday evening.

“We are beyond thrilled to get this recognition,” said Mid Carlozzi, president of the Genesis Project. “This shows what can happen when we all come together to help those who are in need and shows the amazing support we get in this community.”

The Apache Junction Chronic Homeless Coalition, created in 2016, brings together local and regional public and non-profit organizations to support programs and services in the Apache Junction community.

“This collaboration has included all parts of the region to address a key issue as identified by our citizens,” said Mayor Jeff Serdy. “We must pull resources together to raise all of our community.”

The coalition, the first of its kind in Pinal County, identified six key strategies to help the chronically homeless: outreach, collaboration, policy, housing, employment and basic needs.

Along with the coalition was the development of the Community Resource Center, which connects services to those who need it most and covers the coalition’s key strategies.

The Community Resource Center hosts different organizations each week to connect the community to resources, including: healthcare, benefit services, phones, housing, employment, legal services, mentoring and more.

Open weekly, the resource center was the result of a partnership that includes the Genesis Project, United Way of Pinal County, the city of Apache Junction and the Apache Junction Chronic Homeless Coalition.

The coalition also has been responsible for conducting the annual “point in time” count for two years, addressing housing issues, attracting new services and providers to the community and hosting a project connect resource fair.

Photo above: Resource Center’s ribbon cutting in October 2017.

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