Housing is a big part of UMOM’s focus, as the organization operates nine different housing interventions to serve the homeless and victims of domestic violence. Its shelters are among the small percentage able to accommodate two-parent families and single men, with no restrictions on the age of boys in the facility. And one of its dedicated programs provides aid to U.S. military veterans’ families “when they hit that bump in the road and need that support,” says UMOM CEO Darlene Newsom. Of the 180 veteran families UMOM has helped, 90 percent have maintained their housing.
Of UMOM’s mission, Newsom says, “It’s not about managing homelessness, but eliminating it.” Two case managers and a housing specialist work with each family, with each case manager responsible for 15 families.
Partnership with about 40 other community organizations and institutions extends UMOM’s impact. “We’re big on partnerships,” Newsom says. When UMOM identifies women with traumatic brain injury, for instance, Barrow Neurological Institute’s brain clinic provides, through a grant, testing and treatment. At partner GateWay Community College, UMOM clients can take their GED; UMOM provides preparation and tutoring.
UMOM’s roots are with the United Methodist Church, which continues to be a force in its endeavors — particularly with volunteers and in-kind services.
- UMOM was founded in 1964, and serves about 6,000 people each year.
- Programs include emergency shelter for families, transitional shelter for families, housing for single women and Rapid ReHousing, which provides rental assistance to families until they have enough income to pay their own rent.
- UMOM is developing social enterprise programs that incorporate the organization’s mission into training for its recipients of service. The first, a catering business it is developing, will provide food service training and experience to UMOM clients while generating revenue for the organization.
- Its two annual fundraisers are coming in the fall: UMOM Walk for Homeless Families, at the Phoenix Zoo on Sept. 28, and the Buckles and Bangles gala, at the Camelback Inn on Oct. 25.