Weekly Newsletter | June 5, 2024

Human Services Campus is changing our name to Keys to Change. Learn more...

Reflections from Amy Schwabenlender, CEO

Humanity. Compassion. Equal Opportunity.

Reflections from the front lines serving people experiencing homelessness in the desert, the Valley of the sun, where high temperatures have hit and exceeded 100 degrees already. An excessive heat warning is issued for 10 am Wednesday through 8 pm Friday. Afternoon temperatures of 108 and 113 are expected.

We know there are hundreds of unsheltered individuals around the Key Campus and thousands across Maricopa County. Local government has worked to open more cooling centers and hydration stations, and they have worked to open them earlier in the year. Information is shared here: https://hrn.azmag.gov/

At the Campus we are in full-on heat relief mode. I find myself moving more slowly to triple check that people outdoors are breathing and that they know where to go to be indoors. We are ensuring that staff in any outdoor roles are rotating with others to limit the length of time they have to be working outdoors. It's a heightened awareness that will remain through September, and possibly extend into October.

There is no slow period in this work. Homelessness doesn't take a summer break. 

The Arizona State Legislature did take a break, and they are back in action this week. Two bills that create housing choice and opportunity were signed by Governor Hobbs on May 21. Keys to Change believes that all Arizonans deserve access to permanent, affordable housing. As the rate of households falling into homelessness continues to be two times the pace of moving homeless into housing, we have advocated for a variety of efforts to create more housing.

One of the bills legalizes accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in urban municipalities with populations over 75,000. The other authorizes...read more...

Thank you, Circle the City!

Thirst Aid June 2024 Partnership Highlight

It's all hands on deck in support of heat relief this summer!

Circle the City is the medical provider at Key Campus, providing healthcare, respite, medical transport, and case management to our unhoused community and Campus clients. This weekend, they lent their muscle at the Thirst Aid water drive collection event as the June 2024 featured partner.

Of the record 645 people who died in Maricopa County last year due to the heat, nearly half were experiencing homelessness. Hydration is absolutely vital to saving lives this season - and while drinking water and electrolytes helps to prevent illnesses, it's often not enough to pull someone out of a heat-related emergency once they've reached that point.

That's why this year, one of Circle the City's Street Medicine Teams is equipped with IV hydration capabilities. Perla Puebla, Nurse Practitioner for the Central Street Medicine Team at Circle the City, explains the need:

“Last year, our team at Circle the City often had to call emergency services for individuals suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Waiting for the fire department to arrive was challenging, and many individuals were reluctant to go to the ER because they didn’t want to leave their pets or belongings."

Together, the Key Campus partners believe that in order to best serve our unhoused neighbors, we must meet them where they're at, and design programs to decrease barriers and increase access to vital services. "That's why we're launching an innovative IV hydration program right on the streets, meeting people where they are to rehydrate them and ease the burden on emergency services," says Puebla.

On the first day of the program, which launched last Thursday, the team administered IVs to more than 20% of the patients seen that day - a clear demonstration of the high need!

Thank you, Circle the City, for all you do throughout the summer and year round, to keep our community safe and well!

Learn more about Circle the City here, and discover the many ways to get involved with Thirst Aid heat relief here.


NEW Episode of McQuaid Mission!

Season 2, Episode 9 is out! And it's an incredibly important one - a deep dive into the racial disparities in our unsheltered population.

As Keys to Change Program Director Richard Crews states in the opening segment - these conversations are at times uncomfortable, but absolutely vital. At a place like Key Campus, the over-representation of minorities among the housing-insecure is glaringly, painfully evident.

Watch community stakeholders from multiple sectors as they discuss systemic racism, how we got here, and what it will take to build economic equity among the diverse communities in the Valley.


Still Recruiting Volunteers for Project Connect

Volunteers needed to help set up, guest guide, and provide general event support.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Sunnyslope Family Services Center

914 W Hatcher Road, 85021

What is Project Connect? Project Connect is a one-day homeless services event. A true community effort to provide services where they're needed most - including ID replacements, pet care and pet supplies, mental and behavioral health services, haircuts and showers, housing applications, a hot meal, and more.


Mission: Using the power of collaboration to create solutions to end homelessness

Be Like Mike.


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Human Services Campus dba Keys to Change | 204 S. 12th Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85007 | 602.282.0853 | www.hsc-az.org

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