Many individuals and families in Maricopa County are experiencing the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with some relying on the social safety net for the first time in their lives. Maricopa County and its partners want residents to know there are public services available to those in need.
Maricopa County Human Services Department has launched or expanded several initiatives to support people who are facing additional hardship right now. Among them:
- Support and resources for job seekers and those changing careers. Services are available online or by appointment.
- Case management for seniors and those with disabilities to ensure they continue to receive lifesaving services like meals and medical care. This is happening as part of an agreement with the Area Agency on Aging.
- Continued efforts to provide those experiencing homelessness with temporary housing or safer outdoor spaces.
- A Mesa hotel is currently at capacity with 25 individuals.
- A different East Valley facility has 29 of 48 beds occupied.
- County staff continue to assist those living in tents in downtown Phoenix to voluntarily relocate into physically distanced, county-owned lots with access to cold water, hand-washing stations, toilets, and security.
- Activation of a new triage line for shelters and hospitals to call when a person experiencing homelessness needs transportation.
To learn more about how to access these and other services, visit Human Services’ website: https://www.maricopa.gov/5511/HSDs-Response-to-COVID-19
WIC is a year-round program from Public Health which provides healthy food to pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as infants and children up to five years old. The income limit varies by family size, but as an example, a family of four may earn up to $47,638 annually and qualify for WIC assistance. Fathers and grandparents may also apply if they have children in the home age five or younger. All services for WIC recipients, from filling out an application to submitting documents to speaking with staff, are being done online to keep families and staff safe. Get started here: https://www.maricopa.gov/1491/Women-Infants-Children-WIC
The Arizona Food Bank Network, a partner of Maricopa County, is a private, non-profit organization serving five regional food bank members and a network of nearly 1,200 food pantries and agencies. Food banks across the state have seen a significant increase in people using their services, with an estimated 40% of these individuals never having used a food bank before. The Food Bank Network wants to assure everyone they have plenty of food for those who need it. You can find a food bank near you by visiting http://www.azfoodbanks.org/. You’re asked to call ahead to check hours and availability. Parents and caregivers can also text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 to find the nearest sites.