Parsons Foundation Donates $500,000 for Homeless Youth Services

Native American Connections is pleased to announce a $500,000 grant over two years from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. The donation will fund the organization’s existing Homeless Youth Services.

“The sad reality is that more and more youth are experiencing homelessness in Arizona,” said Bob Parsons, co-founder, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. “Native American Connections is stepping in at a critical time to help youth not only gain access to housing and basic needs, but also pave a new path for themselves.”

For the past 50 years, NAC has been working to mitigate mental health, substance abuse, and housing crises in our community. Today, they own and operate four health service clinics and 19 housing sites in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area and are a member of the HUD Continuum of Care. NAC also operates the Phoenix Indian School Visitors Center where community programs and services are offered in addition to their health and housing services to more than 10,000 people each year.

In January 2023, the National Point-in-Time Unsheltered Street Count conducted by the Maricopa County Association of Governments found more than 10,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the Phoenix metropolitan area on a given night; 49% of who could be sheltered, more than 700 of whom were youth. Recognizing the growing youth homelessness crisis, NAC opened a second homeless youth shelter in Surprise. The new shelter accommodates 40 homeless youth between the ages of 18-26 years of age.

“Homeless youth are estimated to be the largest undercounted segment of the homeless population because they are easily self-concealed,” said Trula Breuninger, CEO of Native American Connections. “They couch surf, moving from friend to friends’ homes or live in cars. We want to do everything possible to reunite them with families and set them up for success in the future.”

Funding from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation will support emergency shelter services for homeless youth at both the Central Phoenix and Surprise HomeBase sites.  Those sites also provide medical and behavioral health assessments, counseling and support services, programs for homeless youth to earn their high school diplomas as well as training and career readiness programs. Additionally, the funds will support NAC’s transitional housing service site at Saguaro Ki, co-located on the Central Phoenix youth shelter campus. It is a 24- unit transitional housing community for youth ages 18-26, where they sign a lease, their monthly rent is 30% of their earned income, and they meet weekly with a case manager.

“Native American Connections is giving youth safety and stability now while teaching them life skills to attain stable housing in the future,” said Renee Parsons, co-founder of The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. “We applaud NAC’s efforts to empower youth to stay in school, improve their health and well-being, and become positive contributors to the greater community.”

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