Valley shelters at capacity amid freezing temperatures

Posted at 7:08 AM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 09:08:11-05

PHOENIX — Amid freezing temperatures in the Valley, leaders of a Phoenix homeless shelter say there aren’t enough beds to accommodate people in need.

Lisa Glow, CEO of Central Arizona Shelter Services — or CASS — told ABC15 the downtown Phoenix facility is at capacity on a nightly basis and, unfortunately, some are being turned away.

She said at times when temperatures drop below 40-degrees at night or there is prolonged rain, partner agencies are able to make room for around 80 more people but that still isn’t enough.

“As we have a booming economy, you’d think that wouldn’t be the case,” Glow said, “but rents are on the rise dramatically and people are being evicted because they’re on a fixed income.”

Glow said the facility needs around 300 additional beds to accommodate the demand for CASS services throughout the year.

Also alarming, she said, are the number of seniors in need of shelter; People 55 and older represent a third of all clients on a nightly basis, a statistic that’s grown 10% over three years, Glow told ABC15.

“It’s really heartbreaking to see how many senior citizens are staying here at our shelter and for about 70% of them, they’ve never been homeless before.”

CASS is hoping to build an additional facility specially equipped for seniors experiencing homelessness.

For information on how you can help the organization, visit their website: