Community Cares: A look inside Central Arizona Shelter Services

PHOENIX, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Eviction rates in Arizona are said to be on the rise, and as a result, so is the homeless population. That's according to Central Arizona Shelter Services. Fox 10's Anita Roman takes a look inside one of the CASS shelters and shares one woman's story.

Life isn't always a walk in the park for Natasha.

"I'm originally from Winston Salem, South Carolina, but I relocated out here to give my kids a better life," said Natasha.

The 26-year-old is mom to a 5, 3, and 2-year-old. Despite her drive and motivation, shortly after moving to Phoenix, the family became homeless. 

"It just came to me that I had to do something," said Natasha. "I tried living in motel rooms but in a couple of weeks my funds were running short. I'm doing uber everyday so I can pay for my room."

Natasha turned to CASS, Central Arizona Shelter Services.

"Arizona has the second highest eviction rate in the nation so more and more people are coming into homelessness when their rents go up," said Lisa Glow, CEO of CASS. "There's not enough affordable housing and they don't have other options so they become homeless."

According to CASS, the largest population growing in the homeless shelter are seniors and what they describe as "working poor" or minimum wage workers.

"The first thing people can do to help is to really become aware of the problem and help us raise awareness and help us destigmatize homelessness as well," said Glow.

Thanks to CASS, Natasha is on her way to getting her feet back on the ground.

"They can communicate with different agencies and stuff like that and put us in stable homes," said Natasha. "They can obtain stability for us because they have the contacts with the right people, that's why the program works."

CASS is the state's largest emergency shelter. The downtown emergency shelter has 120 women's beds and 350 total men's beds. The family apartment complex houses 30 families. 

 

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