On September 28, 2013 hundreds of people will gather at the Phoenix Zoo at 455 N. Galvin Parkway in Phoenix, Arizona 85008 for the 5th annual Walk for Homeless Families benefiting UMOM New Day Centers. The purpose of the walk is to raise money and awareness for the homeless families and individuals in the community. It’s not too late to register to join the walk and it’s not too late to make a donation in support of UMOM New Day Centers. Early-bird registration is only $25 for adults and $20 for students until September 18, 2013. Children under 3 are free and do not need to register. All registered walkers receive free admission to the zoo that day, an event t-shirt, access to an amazing kid zone, and many other activities that will be going on that day only. Information is available at http://www.umom.org.
“Last year it was so awesome to see members of the United Methodist churches coming out in full force to support the walk,” states Nichole Barnes, faith based services coordinator at UMOM. Many churches formed teams comprised of youth and congregation members. “It’s a powerful image to see more than a thousand people of all walks of life come together for the common good.”
UMOM New Day Centers is the largest shelter for homeless families in Arizona. The families at UMOM work with a case manager to identify any barriers that prevent them to receive affordable housing. People stay at UMOM anywhere from one week to two years depending on the individual situation and the support that is needed. UMOM provides shelter, support services, and housing for about 6,000 people every year in Maricopa County. “UMOM gave me and my family a chance to improve our lives” said Darcy, a single mother of three children staying at the shelter. Darcy is working with her UMOM case manager to create a plan to get into permanent housing. Her children participate in Kids Den, an after-school program at UMOM where they get homework help, participate in art and crafts, physical education and more. “I want to say thank you so very much for all UMOM has done for my family. Thank you for believing in me,” expresses Darcy.
In addition to shelter, UMOM has over 300 units of affordable housing around the valley. Some of the housing communities have program centers that offer child care and rent assistance, job readiness classes, furniture and clothing donations, and an after school program. UMOM continues to look for new partnerships for affordable housing for families. Together we can partner with UMOM to help the most vulnerable families in Arizona.