East Mesa Hotel to Be Repurposed Into Transitional Housing for Unhoused Residents

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By Camaron Stevenson

July 10, 2023

Housing initiatives have been cropping up all across Arizona as a result of funding through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Maricopa County and the city of Mesa finalized a partnership last week that will use federal funds to increase support for the city’s unhoused residents.

Both county and city governments have signed off on the use of roughly $4 million in funding from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for the purchase of a hotel that will be used to provide emergency shelter and transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness. 

The hotel, located at Power Road and Main Street in Mesa, will have 70 units and is expected to provide temporary housing for up to 500 people per year. Priority will be given to youth, women, and elderly residents in need of housing. Behavioral Healthcare facility Community Bridges Inc. has also partnered with the city to provide case management and other support services for tenants.

In addition to providing safe housing, the program will also offer wraparound services to address issues that contribute to homelessness, such as mental health, addiction, and job training.

In addition to federal funding, Mesa will provide an additional $3.4 million to invest in the shelter.

“Mesa is committed to being part of the solution in addressing homelessness in our region,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles. “This purchase will strengthen our Off the Streets program with an emergency shelter facility.”

Mesa’s focus on addressing homelessness within the city has been a focus in recent months. Along with the increase in shelter capacity, the city started the Off The Streets program, an initiative that focuses on providing aid and rehabilitation to unhoused residents. Through this program, more than 1,500 Mesa residents have received vital care since May.

Mesa has been engaged in a number of collaborations with Maricopa County this year in an attempt to address the region’s growing number of residents in need of more stable living conditions. 

In April 2023, the two entities announced a $600,000 investment in heat relief services for people experiencing homelessness in Mesa and Chandler. In December 2022, they opened the Workforce Center @Mesa, which provides career seekers assistance with resumes, career guidance, apprenticeships, and employment opportunities. And in October 2022, they announced a $5.5 million investment to replenish Mesa’s fund to provide emergency assistance to renters to prevent evictions and homelessness.

Housing initiatives have been cropping up all across Arizona as a result of funding through the American Rescue Plan Act. In addition to Mesa’s recent announcement, Glendale announced in June it would receive $7 million in federal funds for the development of nearly 800 affordable housing units, and in April, the city of Flagstaff announced a federal investment of $9 million to remodel an old hotel into a transitional housing facility with over 100 rooms.

“I love to see Glendale growing, especially with more affordable housing for our citizens,” said Glendale Mayor Jerry P. Weiers. “These developments are vital. They will make a positive impact in the lives of the people in my community with not only housing but additional on-site features that will add to these developments.”

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Author

  • Camaron Stevenson

    Camaron is the Founding Editor and Chief Political Correspondent for The Copper Courier, and has worked as a journalist in Phoenix for over a decade. He also teaches multimedia journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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