Apache Junction Empowerment Working Group
In 2015 the United Way of Pinal County conducted a community needs assessment. When the data was analyzed staff returned to the communities with the information and reported the findings. In these meetings the Apache Junction residents identified that the community needed some assistance in bringing together the right individuals to address the needs of the at-risk and homeless.
As a result the Empowerment Working Group was formed. This committee discusses and creates solutions for the homeless or near homeless and addresses how social service and faith based organizations can help those who are seeking help. Committee members would rather create a network of a a hand up rather than a hand out. The mission of the Apache Junction Empowerment Group is to work collaboratively toward the prevention of homelessness and the creation of lasting solutions for homeless and at-risk families, children, and individuals in the City of Apache Junction service area.”
In March 2016 a Mayor’s Breakfast was held how to help homeless and at risk families in Apache Junction. This was the first of its kind of meeting. Since then the community has held many other conversations to address various parts of homelessness.
This group meets on the 3rd Monday of each month and the location varies.
Over time AJ Empowerment Working Group decided that there was a significant difference between individuals that simply needed a hand up as compared to those that were dealing with chronic homelessness. This groups mission is “to reduce chronic homelessness in AJ while addressing the business community and criminal activities taking place.”
This group’s aim is to:
• Remove the stigma associated with homelessness
• Participate in the Winter/Summer Homeless counts
• Assist the United Way in developing a “Project Hope” template that can be duplicated throughout the county
• To provide support to local agencies that work to reduce plight of homeless individuals