"This place, The Crown, is a love letter," said Ross Schaefer, Executive Director of FSS. "A love letter to Flagstaff and northern Arizona as a whole. It is a letter to our neighbors who deserve the best from their community. A letter that says your roof status does not define you. It is one that says 'we want you here - you are not invisible, or forgotten.' But mostly, this letter is a promise. A promise of home."
Since it opened in April, the 58-room shelter has served about 50 people, It is anticipated it will help about 1,000 individuals annually, not only with temporary shelter, but a series of wraparound service, such as medical care, behavioral health and rehousing services.
One of the first residents of The Crown was Berto, a Cuban refugee who endured three days on a raft in the ocean to come to the United States back in 1993. Berto lived and worked in Arizona for many years, but a series of events in 2007 left him without a home. For years he traveled from place to place, sleeping anywhere he wouldn't be chased off.