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A New Leaf: Supporting families facing crisis this holiday season

Posted at 8:15 AM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 11:23:05-05

A New Leaf is a paid sponsor of Sonoran Living.

For nearly 50 years, A New Leaf has worked in service to its mission, "Helping Families… Changing Lives." Through a continuum of relevant and effective services, and in collaboration with other organizations and civic leaders, A New Leaf now operates 30+ programs under seven social service pillars: HOUSING & SHELTER, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, MENTAL & PHYSICAL HEALTH, EDUCATION, FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT, FAMILY PRESERVATION, and FOSTER CARE. This year, A New Leaf will make a positive impact on the lives of 30,000 people. Families and individuals served represent populations who are the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, including those who face challenges related to homelessness, domestic violence, underlying mental and physical chronic health conditions, and lack of resources due to financial instability.

The 2020 Point-in-Time Count is a national effort to identify the extent of homelessness. There were 3,767 people living in unsheltered situations throughout Maricopa county on the night of January 27, 2020. This reflects a 18% increase from 2019. Regionally, the number of people living on the streets has more than doubled since 2014. In the Central area of Maricopa County there was a 17% increase of homeless individuals. While the majority are single men, 17% of the homeless population in Maricopa County are children.

The Phoenix metro region's status as the fastest-growing county in the U.S., with over 200 people a day moving in, is a huge factor in the rising homelessness. Thirty percent of Arizona residents are in asset poverty, a measure of a household's ability to cover 3 months of expenses in case of emergency. Combined with a lack of affordable housing, people who are already living on the edge are slipping into homelessness. Additionally, domestic violence often leads to homelessness for low income victims.

New Leaf's Emergency Shelter programs for families and individuals experiencing domestic violence and homelessness go far beyond a bed and a meal. What makes these programs unique is the comprehensive, wrap-around support services designed to address complex challenges. The goal is to address each individual's unique challenges in order for them to move from crisis to long-term stability, and ultimately break the cycle of homelessness, domestic violence, and poverty. Support services include case management, employment support, housing navigation, legal aid, financial literacy and coaching, transportation, life skills, children's services, behavioral and physical health services, and referrals to other needed community resources.

You can make a difference in the lives of those facing crisis this holiday season by making a donation in support of A New Leaf shelters and support services. Your donation qualifies for the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit, providing a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for Arizona State tax liabilities.

To learn more and make a donation, go to < or call A New Leaf at (480) 464-4648.