We’re excited to announce something truly extraordinary: UMOM has received a $5 million grant from the Day 1 Families Fund, established this year by Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos.

Each night, more than 200 families in Maricopa County will live on the streets, sleep in their cars or spend the night in fear because of an unstable living situation, even if they’ve sought help. A lack of resources means these parents and children must wait an average of 11 weeks before a shelter unit becomes available.

UMOM CEO Darlene Newsom says this new grant now offers the unprecedented opportunity to move the needle on family homelessness and transform the lives of those who desperately need help.

“This grant means capacity,” said Newsom. “It means we can add new shelter units that will serve 100 additional families every year. Our goal: we will to zero-out that waiting list so not one more family suffers.”

UMOM is among the first organizations nationally to receive a Day 1 Families Fund grant. The Bezos’ donated a total of $97.5 million to 24 nonprofits across the U.S. that are working on family homelessness.

UMOM was selected because of the strength of the organization and input given from Bezos Day One Fund advisors. Guided by the principle that homelessness should be rare, brief and non-recurring, we carefully evaluate each household’s needs, matching families to the most appropriate and expeditious means of ending their homelessness. Intervention strategies include one-on-one case management, employment support services to help clients secure and maintain employment and advocacy with landlords. Because these highly-vulnerable families often face many issues, we offer job training, on-site health care, child care and connection to community resources.

“We also believe we can leverage this grant to secure community support and resources to sustain these services for the long-term,” added Newsom. “As I’ve said for many years, we don’t manage homelessness; we end it.”

Want to learn more about UMOM’s approach to ending homelessness? A tour is a great place to start. Just visit https://umom.org/get-involved/ to sign up. Would you like to put your dollars to work to change lives? Contribute now at https://umom.thankyou4caring.org/donate.

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