Project H3: Home, Health, Hope, is a collaborative effort of community members representing over 50 nonprofit, government and business entities to end homelessness in the Greater Phoenix area. Led by the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness, and working alongside the national organization, Common Ground, as part of its 100,000 Homes Campaign, over 170 community volunteers canvassed 262 individuals experiencing street homelessness in the downtown Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale and Sunnyslope communities during the week of April 19-23. Based on a “vulnerability index” of eight at-risk indicators, they identified the 50 individuals most at risk of dying if they remained on the streets.
But they didn’t stop there. Organizations stepped up and contributed 50 sites to house them. Organizations stepped up and contributed the services they need to get back on their feet. And in a period of just 15 minutes on April 23, individuals and organizations committed $50,000 in increments of $1,000 sponsorships to move these individuals into homes and apartments.
Why aren’t efforts like this in the news? Why is Arizona portrayed in the national media as a state of gun-packing yahoos hunting illegal immigrants when thousands of citizens are out in communities every day lending a helping hand?
We need a different narrative in this state. Project H3 is the kind of story we need to tell.