SOURCE: Helping Hands

September 01, 2009 14:52 ET

Model Program Elevates Homeless Families to Permanent Housing

Two Valley Agencies Come Together to Move Families From Homelessness Straight up the Ladder Into Permanent Housing!

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - September 1, 2009) - UMOM New Day Centers (UMOM), Arizona's largest shelter for homeless and low-income families, announced today that it has merged Helping Hands Housing Services, a leader in affordable housing and support services to the Valley's low income populations, into its operations.

Experiencing greater demands for services, the two organizations thought outside the box to serve those most in need. The collaboration will maximize the services they offer the Valley's most vulnerable individuals.

UMOM's mission is to provide homeless and low-income families with food, shelter and the tools to build a bridge to self-sufficiency. Currently, UMOM serves more than 350 people a day at its main campus comprised of 112 families. With its new campus expansion in October, UMOM will provide services for up to 156 families comprised of 550 individuals, more than 300 of them children. UMOM provides emergency shelter and supportive services to stabilize families in crisis. UMOM's transitional shelter provides stable housing and wraparound support services critical to moving families up the ladder, readying them to enter permanent housing after a two year period.

Helping Hands Housing Services' mission is to break the cycle of poverty for low-income families by providing permanent affordable housing and comprehensive support services. They seek to serve underprivileged families who want a hand-up, not a hand-out and make it their goal to provide them with the resources they need to succeed. Helping Hands will now be waiting at the top of that ladder; providing permanent affordable housing and comprehensive support services to families.

"With UMOM merging Helping Hands into their operations, we'll collectively be in a position to offer our families a total housing and support services solution; one that's designed to move our families all the way from homelessness to total self-sufficiency," said Dave Hepburn, executive director, Helping Hands Housing Services. "What a blessing! This is a marriage made in heaven that will produce such positive results for our hard working families."

"Now more than ever, the need for UMOM's services is at an all time high," states Darlene Newsom, CEO of UMOM New Day Centers. "Families are staying longer due to the lack of truly affordable housing options; during the past quarter, the average length of stay in the Emergency Shelter program increased from 82 to nearly 100 days, while the average stay in the Transitional Shelter program dramatically increased from 135 days to more than 330 days. This collaborative effort ultimately helps both organizations make a greater impact; providing homeless families with the tools they need to become self-sufficient, and following up with assessable housing options to ensure they can maintain their self-sufficiency."

"Congratulations on the merger between UMOM New Day Centers and Helping Hands Housing Services. The benefits to such arrangements can be enormous for not only the agencies that merge, but of greatest importance, the persons and families that are served by the merging organizations. UMOM New Day Centers and Helping Hands Housing Services serve the poorest of the poor in our community, and by UMOM merging Helping Hands into their organization, families now being served by UMOM will have a ready-made outlet for permanent affordable and supportive housing as they seek to gain total self-sufficiency.", stated Dr. Edmund Portnoy, Director of Grants Program with Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. "I applaud UMOM and Helping Hands for taking this next step in service to our community."

About UMOM New Day Centers

UMOM New Day Centers, Inc. (UMOM) is a 501 (c)(3) nonsectarian, nonprofit organization serving homeless and low-income families. UMOM is the largest homeless shelter for families in the State of Arizona and has served the Greater Phoenix area for more than 40 years. UMOM serves more than 550 individuals each day through a continuum of services that include: shelter, food, case management, transportation assistance, child care, teen programs, education, housing, job search, relocation assistance and medical care. For additional information, visit www.umom.org.

About Helping Hands Housing Services

Helping Hands Housing Services is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization established in 1993. It was formed to provide permanent and truly affordable housing to extremely low-income individuals and families as well as free support services, all designed to uplift the quality of life for residents and help them break the cycle of poverty. Housing is provided through multi-family apartments owned and operated by the organization. The support services are free to the residents and are delivered through the Program Services department at each of the communities. For more information on Helping Hands Housing Services, visit www.helpinghandsaz.org.