"For every complex problem there is a solution that is concise, clear, simple, and wrong."
H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956),
American Journalist, Essayist, Editor
You've probably heard a fair amount lately about homelessness in Tempe.
There is a strong likelihood the issue will worsen before it improves. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 2010 - 2014, the number of Tempe residents living in poverty has increased from 31,906 to 38,365, an increase of more than 20%. One can expect that the numbers for 2015 and 2016 will continue to trend upward.
Part of our role at TCAA is to help transition homeless adults to full-time employment through our I-HELP homeless shelter program and to provide rental assistance to eligible families - prioritizing those facing eviction - to prevent the homeless population from increasing.
The role we play is effective and essential; and by ourselves, not enough. It will take the combined efforts and resources of the entire community to successfully meet the needs of the people we serve. Fortunately, the city has committed leadership in government, the private sector and the nonprofit sector to address this, and other human services challenges.
I will be retiring effective June 30. There are so many people to thank who have assisted in making my tenure here both rewarding and enjoyable. I've been privileged to work with a group of professionals - both volunteer and paid staff - that give their time and talents generously to help those in need. That same feeling is extended to TCAA's nonprofit, community, and government partners.
An even greater privilege has been learning from the people we serve - listening to their stories, their challenges, and respecting the resilience and strength it takes for them to work every day to improve their lives for themselves and for the people they love. It is a lesson that will stay with me for the rest of my days.