PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced $300,000 in grant funding to organizations providing Arizonans in need with rental assistance, telehealth and transportation to health services. The funding recipients, St. Vincent de Paul and Open Hearts, will use the funding to help vulnerable populations avoid eviction and access services needed to preserve health. These dollars come from the Crisis Contingency and Safety Net Fund, which was established by Arizona’s bipartisan state budget agreement.
“Arizona continues to support hardworking Arizonans and at-risk families,” said Governor Ducey. “Organizations across the state have stepped up to help Arizonans in need to ensure they have access to health services, can remain in their homes and much more. These dollars will support those organizations that have made helping fellow Arizonans their top priority. My thanks to St. Vincent de Paul and Open Hearts for all you do to support our communities, especially during COVID-19.”
St. Vincent de Paul was awarded $250,000 and will use the funds to continue to help at-risk Arizonans avoid eviction through its Rental Assistance Program. The Rental Assistance Program provides emergency funding to prevent homelessness and helps those in need regain self-sufficiency. This year alone, St. Vincent de Paul has supported more than 200 families with rent assistance.
“For almost 200 years, across the world, St. Vincent de Paul has been focused on supporting those financially struggling, trying to prevent homelessness in our community. This generous funding from the Governor’s office will help us continue this work and help even more families impacted by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Jessica Berg, St. Vincent de Paul Chief Program Officer. “Last month, 95% of our requests for assistance with rent and utilities were due to COVID-related financial emergencies. The need is tremendous, and we know it will grow over the next few months. Our partnership with the state will not only help preserve families’ dignity and stability, it will also lessen society’s economic burden by preventing homelessness and further emergencies. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is often called ‘The Society of We’re All in this Together.’ This partnership is such an important example of that. Poverty and homelessness are challenges that we all need to come together to address — public, private, and faith-based partnerships are essential and we’re grateful to be a part of the solution.”
Open Hearts was awarded $50,000 and will use the funding to improve access to technology and remote resources for at-risk families. This will help families in need continue to connect with telehealth services and transportation to behavioral and medical health services.
“Open Hearts is grateful for the funds provided,” said Arjelia “Argie” Gomez, Open Hearts President and CEO. “This gift will enable families to access telemedicine and telehealth services for years to come. This pandemic has highlighted the need for this service option and our families are poised to engage.”
Additionally, Governor Ducey in March announced the Rental Eviction Prevention Assistance Program to help Arizonans struggling to make rent due to COVID-19. He also established the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund as part of the Arizona Together Initiative to provide financial support to non-profit organizations serving Arizonans most in need statewide. Arizonans can visit ArizonaTogether.org to learn more, donate and find volunteer opportunities.