/Tempe expands shelter, transitional housing options for those in need

Tempe expands shelter, transitional housing options for those in need

The City of Tempe has expanded shelter and housing options for individuals and families with the purchase of a 40-room motel and two significant nonprofit grants that add more than 60 new shelter beds.

The action provides more options and stability for those in need as they work with Human Services staff to locate more permanent housing solutions.

“I’m proud of our City Council’s unanimous decision to support these two critical efforts for individuals and families in our community,” said Mayor Corey Woods. “By working with nonprofit partners to expand shelter space and purchasing a motel for temporary housing, we are not only providing significantly more safe spaces for people in need but also creating a truly viable path toward ending homelessness.”

The expansion of services is part of a broader initiative set forth by the City Council to reduce the negative impacts associated with homelessness in city parks and ensure a greater feeling of community safety and wellness. The initiative takes a human services-centered approach and involves multiple city departments and nonprofit partners.   

The City Council last week approved the purchase of the Rodeway Inn at 2101 E. Apache Blvd. to add 40 temporary transitional housing units in Tempe. The property was purchased for $3.3 million using federal funds through the American Rescue Plan Act.

The acquisition increases Tempe’s ability to provide decent, safe and sanitary temporary transitional housing. Following some rehabilitation, the motel property is expected to be open in December.

Eventually, the property will be developed for permanently affordable multi-family housing in alignment with the city’s Affordable Housing Strategy and Hometown for All initiative.

Also last week, the City Council approved $450,000 in nonprofit grants to expand emergency shelter beds for those experiencing homelessness.

The first grant to Tempe Community Action Agency for $281,980 will fund 30 shelter beds for adults, as well as case management and housing navigation assistance. The second grant to A New Leaf for $168,020 will be used to transport individuals directly to the East Valley Men’s Center in Mesa, where they will receive case management, behavioral health services and access to job and housing supports. Tempe’s Human Services outreach teams will assist with transportation.

Combined, the two grants will make 62 shelter beds available for those in Tempe. As people transition to more permanent housing, the nonprofits can potentially serve more than 100 individuals.

Tempe Community Council, a partner of the City of Tempe, awarded the grants. Increasing shelter beds will reduce the numbers of unsheltered people throughout the city and provide a safer environment where individuals can connect with housing and social services.

Learn more at tempe.gov/EndingHomelessness.