SRPMIC 12 Percent Committee Presents Funds to Phoenix Human Services Campus to Combat Homelessness

The Human Services campus in Phoenix, and the homeless encampment outside of the campus.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s 12 Percent Gaming Grant Committee provided a 12% grant for the 2023 calendar year to the Human Services Campus (HSC) in Phoenix to assist the homeless population that is living on the streets around the campus.

The grant funds from the Community are limited to this purpose.

The HSC is a nonprofit organization made up of 16 partner organizations that share the goal of ending homelessness in the city.

Gaming in Arizona is governed by the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compact between the state and all 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes. Under Arizona’s compact, tribes with casinos contribute 12% of their gaming revenue each year to the state, and to cities, towns and counties. Contributions are determined on a sliding scale based on the amount of gaming revenue realized each year.

The remaining 88% of the tribe’s total annual contribution goes toward a variety of causes, including the Arizona Benefits Fund on a quarterly basis to provide funding for the Arizona Department of Gaming and its Division of Problem Gambling. Other funds are directed toward instructional improvement for schools, trauma and emergency care, tourism, and wildlife conservation, as detailed in the Tribal Contributions Distribution Flow Chart.

The HSC told O’odham Action News that the campus is currently using the grant for staffing, sustainability and support of its multidisciplinary Street Outreach program and the 24/7 operation of the Brian Garcia Welcome Center, two of the HSC’s client programs.

“HSC cannot continue to operate these programs without the support of organizations like the SRPMIC. HSC is incredibly grateful to the SRPMIC for this generous grant to support our mission of ending homelessness,” said HSC Director of Development Steve Davis. “The Campus serves over 12,000 people a year through the Welcome Center, and that demand is not projected to decrease in the near future.”

HSC said that it was in the process of responding to an RFP from Phoenix before July 17 for services such as staffing, security and janitorial to operate a “safe outdoor space” campground initiative from Phoenix after the city’s planned homeless shelter at 22nd Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road fell through due to environmental concerns at the site.

The Phoenix City Council voted on June 28 to purchase 4 acres of state-owned property for the new site, which is located about two blocks from the HSC.

By court order, Phoenix had until July to clear an encampment called The Zone, near the campus, where homeless people have been living.

Business owners and residents near The Zone sued the City of Phoenix, saying that The Zone is a nuisance to the public.

“There are currently over 800 unsheltered individuals around HSC. The ‘safe outdoor space’ may assist 200 to 300 people, leaving hundreds more unsheltered who will still need the Outreach Team,” said Davis.

The city said that the campground will operate temporarily as a solution to immediately comply with the court order.

This is a developing story and was up to date at the time of print.

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