On May 2nd, 50% of the transitional housing programs in the United States were notified they would no longer receive funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). House of Refuge was one of those agencies. To escalate the problem, House of Refuge was also notified that this defunding would take place retroactively as of February 1, 2016, the beginning of their HUD grant fiscal year. The loss of this funding compounded with a lack of affordable housing will potentially put the 81 homeless families (94 adults, 125 children, 88% single female head of household) we currently serve into unsafe, unstable, living situations post separation from programming.
House of Refuge has served homeless Arizona families since October 1996. In that time we have assisted over 7,000 individuals out of their homeless cycles and averaged a 90% success rate of moving families into permanent housing.
House of Refuge also understands the importance of running a fiscally sound non-profit. We knew the importance of having a 6 month cash reserve for emergency changes in funding and cash flow. However, with the retroactive decision of February 1, three months of those reserves were used prior to the May 2nd notification. The remaining 3 months cash reserves will not give the House of Refuge staff enough time to move families through the local housing wait lists and into acceptable alternate housing.
On behalf of these families I am asking that you contact one, or all, of the following officials and request that they lend their power and influence to intervene in this unprecedented, insanely catastrophic, inhumane decision by HUD–
Please don’t wait thinking your communication won’t matter, IT WILL. With your advocacy we can find funds to buy time and move these families safely into alternate housing.
Thank you for your assistance,
Nancy Marion, Executive Director
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