Volume 69 | May 5th, 2021
Reflections from Amy Schwabenlender, Executive Director
As I personally find myself working in the 'flow,' notices of good news and potential news come in. There are also situations and events daily that cause my emotions to be all over the place.
COVID-19 may be on a plateau. We have vaccine. We have lower positive client cases. We operate in "COVID-mode" to continue to prevent its spread until we are told by Public Health that we can relax distancing and PPE guidelines. Given all that, and given news of funding and incredible gifts coming our way (more to share later), my heart is still heavy.
My gut tells me that this Summer is going to be rough. And Summer in Phoenix starts before the solstice on June 20th. It starts in May as temperatures rise during the day and stay high overnight. Cooling down on pavement and asphalt becoming virtually impossible.
My gut tells me that while we continually implement improvements to our practices and service delivery model, that we have so much ground to cover we are miles and miles away as a community from having sufficient housing resources to be 'caught up’ on housing placements and ending homelessness.
My heart tells me that my colleagues who are Black are hurting. I carry personal concern, worry and fear for my employees of color, thinking of them as my own family. I listen and listen some more, and then when I speak I have to stop myself to listen more. I have to check myself as I work to break my implicit bias.
My heart tells me that the new Councilwoman for Phoenix District 7, Yassamin Ansari, is compassionate, intelligent, and truly interested in solutions to ending homelessness. Within hours of her inauguration she visited the Campus. On Day One she did that. 
My gut tells me that the family of clients who pass away are heart broken. Some carried away in an ambulance, and we not knowing the outcome of their hospital visit.
My heart tells me that I am full of love and compassion, yet sometimes powerless. I can't be everywhere at once. I repeat the Four Agreements multiple times per day: I will not assume, I will not take things personally, I will do my best, and I will be impeccable with my word.
My gut says "suck it up" and "carry on." I am not homeless. I am not Black in America. I am not a lost, wandering soul travelling alone to a hospital.
I still believe that as humans we have more in common than we are different. When I overhear shouting, crying, arguing, and violence outside my office window, I sometimes say "Why can't we all just get along." If only we humans didn't complicate things for ourselves. We have the solutions, we have the resources. We have the ability to choose to put aside our ego and detach from our personal desired outcomes, to live up to the greater good.
This Reflections may be more personal than usual, and you all recognize I am human. I ask you to recognize all of our unsheltered and unhoused neighbors as human, too. Thank you for supporting our collective efforts to treat everyone with respect and dignity.
Gila River Hotels & Casinos / AZ Coyotes Pay It Forward
A huge thank you to Gila River Hotels & Casinos and Arizona Coyotes for their donation of 4,000 towels for our Client Shower Program, and a check for $50,000 on Pay It Forward Day.

“We are so fortunate to have an agency like Human Services Campus in our community,” said Gila River Hotels & Casinos CEO Kenneth Manuel. “The work they do to help the homeless and other vulnerable populations is truly remarkable. Our Gila team is aligned with the Arizona Coyotes in supporting these critical community initiatives.”

Gila River Hotels & Casinos and the Arizona Coyotes have been partnering on philanthropic events since 2007.

“We are thrilled to team up with our great partner Gila River Hotels & Casinos to make this significant donation to the Human Services Campus on Pay It Forward Day,” said Coyotes President & CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez. “It’s our responsibility to give back and be a leader in our community and we are proud to be able to make an impact and help so many individuals who are in need.” 

"We are so grateful for this gift and for these two organizations joining us in the work to end homelessness in our community. It is 'Pay It Forward Day', we're in this business every day of the year," Amy Schwabenlender said. "The need is high now and we're all concerned with the eviction moratorium expiring and the economic effects of COVID as the pandemic is hopefully winding down."

The funds will enhance multiple initiatives including, temporary shelter, behavioral health services, housing navigation, and day-to-day campus operations needed to support the 15 on-campus collaborative partners.

"We are truly overwhelmed by the generosity and breadth of these two donations and the overall impact they will have on the individuals experiencing homelessness we serve every day," she said. "For an individual experiencing homelessness, the simple act of taking a shower is a chance to cleanse, refresh both physically and emotionally, and feel a sense of dignity. Having this massive inventory of clean, fresh towels is a wonderful gift."
Episode 8 of
The McQuaid Mission
on the
Episode 8 Special Guests include Suzanne Wilson, President and CEO of The Phoenix Sympony, and Heidi Ward, COO of Circle the City.

Episode 9 will be airing on Monday, May 9th! Click Here to View All Episodes.
Human Services Campus | 204 S. 12th Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85007 | 602.282.0853 | www.hsc-az.org