The Arizona Republic
Flagstaff Shelter Services awarded $2.5M grant
FLAGSTAFF − As the city continues to battle a housing crisis, local nonprofit Flagstaff Shelter Services recently received a $2.5 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Family Fund, created in 2018 by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in-part to help fund existing nonprofits across the country that work with families experiencing homelessness.
The largest emergency shelter in northern Arizona, Flagstaff Shelter Services is a low-barrier resource for anyone in need of housing support and resources that is open around the clock. At the emergency shelter, anyone in cri
sis can stay the night, shower, eat, do laundry, store their belongings and get computer access for job services.
But more than that, the organization’s mission is to then connect people with permanent housing, getting them off the streets for good.
“This grant will allow us to scale up our efforts to address the complexities of family homelessness significantly,” said Ross Schaefer, executive director of Flagstaff Shelter Services in a statement.
“What excites me most is what it means for the future of the hundreds of families this will serve. The investments we will be able to make in housing, outreach, staffing and tailored wraparound programs for individuals and families are tremendous – this is only the beginning of a new chapter for our organization.”
In a press release, the organization said that they plan on using the bulk of these funds to purchase a hotel and convert it into long-term housing in addition to hiring more staff and expanding their community outreach.
Flagstaff Shelter Services was just one of 40 nonprofits around the country to be awarded a grant through this program, including Tucson’s Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, which received $5 million.
While this is the first time an organization in northern Arizona has been recognized by the Bezos Day 1 Fund, nonprofits elsewhere in the state have been awarded funding in the past.
In 2018, the fund’s first year, UMOM New Day Centers in Phoenix was awarded $5 million followed the next year by Our Family Services in Tucson, which got $2.5 million.
Contact northern Arizona reporter Lacey Latch at email@example.com or on social media @laceylatch. Coverage of northern Arizona on azcentral.com and in The Arizona Republic is funded by the nonprofit Report for America and a grant from the Vitalyst Health Foundation in association with The Arizona Republic.