With hundreds of positive move outs, SVdP’s emergency-level shelter hopes to be the model for future neighborhood shelters.
In May, St. Vincent de Paul’s Washington St. shelter marked its one-year anniversary. Already, the shelter has served 1,000 individuals with 600 positive move outs.
While mathematically, there simply aren’t enough shelter beds for all those living on the street in the Valley, our Washington St. shelter is one of the few options where people do end up.
Notably, the shelter (focused on alleviating homelessness in its direct neighborhood and from downtown) accommodates people from ‘the Zone’ as the City of Phoenix does its biweekly cleanups.
As those new residents join the SVdP family, they step into a shelter model not quite like any other. Watch above and read below about how we’re different…
Culture of can-do attitudes and kindness
One of the first things people feel at Washington St. is the welcoming, kind and positive atmosphere that fills our shelter and the people who live, work and serve there. Interactions lean toward helpful, compassionate and productive.
Partnership and wraparound services
Residents have daily access to case managers, workforce and volunteer opportunities, substance abuse and mental health support, meals, showers, laundry, fresh clothing, recreation and more. This is all thanks to numerous partnerships, making area expertise available to those who need it most.
Focused on rehousing
From day one, residents form a housing plan with their case manager and set goals to achieve that plan, taking one step at a time until they reach their desired housing arrangement.
Operating by referral-only means that there are no walk-ups, no lines, no tents, no encampments surrounding Washington St. Community members drive by and don’t even realize they passed a shelter and rehousing program.
Good neighbor agreement
Neighborhood associations, government partners and SVdP continue to honor and uphold a Good Neighbor Agreement that ensures we all respect and maintain a peaceful business and presence in the neighborhood for the betterment of all parties. SVdP attends neighborhood meetings and offers neighbors a 24/7 hotline.
Companion animals welcome
By welcoming in pets, Washington St. shelter has seen more people come inside off the street who wouldn’t have otherwise sought shelter if it meant leaving their pet behind. Thanks to SVdP’s Companion Animal Program, the pets of the homeless also get the food, care, vaccinations, microchipping, training and more that they need.
Staff with lived experience
Staff doesn’t just talk the talk, many have walked the walk having once lived on the street themselves. Being able to relate to the unique struggles of homelessness and demonstrate hope and success offers residents at Washington St. shelter a true, meaningful, and compassionate support system.