Human Services assistance programs in Phoenix.

Public and private resources are used by the City of Phoenix Human Services Department in an effort to help the needy. The government organization, which operates as a quasi-community action agency, provides services such as homeless prevention, shelter, emergency rent and utility bill assistance as well as other aid.

Outreach and material assistance is offered as part of the Department’s Homeless Programs. These were created to provide rapid-rehousing (such as funds to pay security deposits), emergency shelter, street outreach and other supportive services. The resources help families facing eviction, currently homeless families, youth and persons in need. City programs are available from this as well as support from local non-profit community providers. The groups partner together to help the homeless in the city and the Maricopa community.

The Homeless Programs Department is also in charge of the City's shelters, heat/cold mitigation services and well as rental assistance programs. There are even centers set up during the hot weather during summer stretches in Arizona. This is done through the help of the Heat Relief Network as well as Summer/Winter Respite Programs (see below).

The low income and struggling can get hydration and also refuge and wellness checks. This is for senior citizens, the homeless and handicapped persons. For more information about shelter services and availability, please call the CONTACS Shelter Hotline at 1-800-799-7739 or dial 602-263-8900.

The Watkins Emergency Shelter Program is there to provide a year-round emergency shelter for homeless single women, their children and families. This program provides such services as free meals, laundry, gently used clothing, health care, behavioral health checkups, information on public low income housing resources and case management.

Basic needs, such as food and clothing, are also met by Summer and Winter Respite. These are programs which coordinate the storage, collection and distribution of essential items for homeless persons living on the streets of Phoenix. These items are distributed by local community and faith-based homeless outreach teams. Items donated include things such as hats, water, sunscreen, personal hygiene items, blankets, boots, shoes and seasonal appropriate clothing.




The Phoenix Heat Relief Network from Human Services Department is located within the City. It operates as the largest member of the greater Maricopa County network. This program is a regionally coordinated effort comprised of faith-based and community agencies, businesses and members of the community. It can help them in an effort to get hydration, refuge and wellness checks to the city’s homeless, seniors and disabled persons living in their homes during the extreme summer weather conditions.

The Maricopa County Continuum of Care is a key partner of the City of Phoenix Human Services Department. This can help the homeless find a new, affordable residence to live in. The staff from the agency can also explore loan or grant programs to pay for a security deposit free and/or first month’s rent. Case management is required, as well as the client needs to be on the path to self-sufficiency.

Social services as well as emergency financial assistance are available at various Maricopa family and senior centers. The locations will to provide help with such things as eviction prevention, rent help and move-in assistance.

Workshops and classes on issues such as life-skills development counseling, employment services, budgeting, social and more are available. Those who qualify for aid may receive emergency utility payments if faced with a disconnection. There may also be rental assistance, Nutritional resources and free food, Transportation for work or an interview.

Other support from the centers may be information on senior programs and resources, including discount programs, Medicare applications and Home repairs. Or learn about zero interest loans for minor home safety repairs, appliance replacement/repair, and improvements.

Case Management Services is another resource available to community members. Caseworkers from Human Services are there to help families and adults resolve issues and to help them in achieving self-sufficiency.

As part of this, Emergency Financial Assistance may also be available. This can include rental and utility assistance in emergency situations. Other services are provided if center funding is available.

The Human Services Department of Phoenix is there to offer help to low-income families during an emergency situation. Services that help with urgent needs could be one of the following things such as help with a utility bill, Eviction prevention and/or move-in costs, Case management, Non-emergency social services are also available through the family services centers.

The URRD Program, also known as Housing Repair and Replacement, is an option that can provide low-income homeowners with a variety of assistance programs to improve the quality, livability and safety of their homes. By helping improve their homes the quality and value of the neighborhood as a whole is increased.





Eligible participants may get a repair or replacement service to such items as Water heaters, Air conditioners (minor repairs), stoves, Evaporative coolers, Furnaces, Refrigerators, Washers Dryers, Water and sewer systems, and Electrical wiring or gas systems.

Across the city, the Head Start Program is administered by the Human Services Department, and specifically their, Education Division. They have the following services listed below.

  • Education - Every child that enrolls will receives a number of individualized learning experiences to help foster intellectual, social physical and emotional growth.
  • Food, Health and Nutrition from Head Start is available as the government likes to emphasize preventive care and early detection of medical problems. Students will receive a complete physical exam including immunizations, vision/hearing tests, a free dental exam and identification of any disabling conditions.
  • Social Services are available for parents. A case manager assists families and parents of the child in assessing their own needs, identifying and securing services such as public aid and building strengths.

Head Start is also offered by Human services for children in Phoenix with disabilities or a Mental Health challenge. They have teachers and staff for their needs as well.

Senior centers are operated by the city of Phoenix Human Services Department. Each site provides Nutrition Programs, Social Activities, Emergency Utility and Rental Assistance, Meals on Wheels, Budgeting Classes, Transportation and other care for the elderly.

A group meal site is available in the city and Maricopa County. These low cost or free congregate meals are mainly for independent residents. There is no charge for the meals or food items for people that are ages 60+ or disabled persons, however we do ask for donations.




Another service is the low cost home delivered meal service. This is a referral based program which delivers and prepares nutritionally balanced meals to home bound Phoenix residents aged 60+ or to those who are handicapped.

There are a few main sites in which the City of Phoenix Human Services Department operates from. Call or stop by for information.

  • John F. Long Family Services Center, 3454 N. 51st Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85031. Dial 602-262-6510
  • Travis L. Williams Family Services Center is at 4732 S. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85040, 602-534-4732
  • Sunnyslope Family Services Center, 914 W. Hatcher Road, Phoenix, AZ 85021, 602-495-5229


By Jon McNamara

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