Programs

$35 million donated to Valley programs targeting homelessness

The homelessness rate in Maricopa County jumped 35% this year. More than 30 local programs have recently received funding to help curb rising homelessness.

PHOENIX — More than 30 local programs providing social services have collectively received $35 million in federal grants to help Valley residents find housing.

The Maricopa Association of Governments announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has allocated funds to 32 programs in the Valley that help vulnerable populations.

“We know housing is critical to ending homelessness, and this award helps us continue our mission to get people into more permanent and stable homes,” said Riann Balch, Maricopa Regional Continuum Co-Chair. of Care Board.

One of the recipients of the funds is A new leafa domestic violence shelter in the Valley that attempts to rehouse victims of abuse.

A full list of grant recipients is available here.

The announcement comes as the valley continues to face a housing crisis caused by rising rents.

An annual count conducted in Maricopa County on the night of Jan. 25 found 5,029 unprotected individuals, a significant jump from the 3,767 counted in January 2020.

A count was not made in 2021 due to the pandemic.

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How big is Maricopa County?

Maricopa County is the 4and largest county by population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 census.

The county contains approximately 63% of Arizona’s population and covers 9,224 square miles. This makes the county larger than seven US states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire).

One of the nation’s largest park systems is also located in Maricopa County. The county has approximately 120,000 acres of open space parks that include hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds.

The county seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the 5and most populous city in the United States.

The county was named after the Maricopa, or Piipaash, Native American tribe.