Helping Homeless Seniors on Their Path Back to Home

Since its beginning in 2006, Justa Center continues to exclusively serve the growing population of homeless seniors age 55 and older in the metro Phoenix region. 

Justa Center is a safe haven, advocate, trusted partner and resource for seniors who are homeless and desire to return to housing. 

A Crisis of Demand for Justa Center

In the first decade of serving homeless seniors, Justa Center received an average of 250 new seniors each year. In 2015-16, the number of new seniors jumped to nearly 500 annually; in 2018, over 700 new seniors that year, and in the first six months of 2019, nearly 100 new seniors arrive every month at Justa Center. 

Justa has met this increased demand by utilizing reserves because the funding that sustained Justa Center for the first decade doesn't not support the increased number of homeless seniors and the demand for services. This has taken a toll on Justa Center, and will not sustain us into the future. As stewards of the public trust, Justa Center has taken steps to reduce overhead, limiting programs to those that support the return to housing, and changed operational hours to ensure that the increasing number of homeless seniors can receive essential services. 

As a valued part of the Valley's homeless service providers, hospitals, shelters, churches, and the community count on Justa Center to be the support, safe-harbor, and resource on the journey back to housing. Please read more and support Justa Center as we enter a new era of services for homeless seniors who want to have a place to call home. 

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September 20th

It's a Long Journey Returning to Home

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, "Studies across the U.S. have shown a clear upward trend in the proportion of ‘older’ persons’ (aged 50-64) among the homeless population. 

This is a group which frequently falls between the cracks of governmental safety nets. They are not old enough to qualify for Medicare, however, when their physical health is assaulted by poor nutrition and severe living conditions they may eventually resemble someone much older."

Under the best conditions, aging is a challenge. Becoming homeless increases the risk of poor health, injury, victimization, and loss of cognitive health. Current studies find that shelter users age 55 (and over) tend to have longer shelter stays compared to younger adults.

Providing more than a hot meal and day-shelter, the Center provides essential services including Housing Assistance, Identity Documentation, Nurses Clinic, Legal Aid, and representatives from DES and Social Security.

The Nurses Clinic, staffed by volunteer service providers, had nearly 2,000 visits in 2018, reducing the number of costly 9-1-1 calls and emergency department visits significantly while helping members manage medicine, doctors visits and tests.

The Community Needs Justa Center   

The return to housing is more than safety and security; it saves tax-payer money. A chronically homeless person costs the tax-payer an average of $35,578 per year. Costs on average are reduced by 49.5% when they are placed in supportive housing. Supportive housing costs on average $12,800, making the net savings roughly $4,800 per year. (2007 figures)

In 2014, approximately 25% of Justa Center seniors who returned to housing stayed in housing for a year or more. Currently, first-year housing retention is nearly 90% with nearly 70% retaining housing for multiple years.  In 2018, nearly 300 Justa Center seniors achieved housing; an estimated $7m in tax-payer savings.

The Extended Care Program at Justa Center returns 20-25 seniors to housing each month. They are given a lift up with supplies for kitchen, bath, and bedroom and furniture from donations received.

Through the work of the Ambassadors (volunteers), over 350 bags of groceries and supplies that cannot be purchased with food stamps, are distributed every month to our housed members. Each visit is a wellness check and an opportunity to learn about any recent changes or problems that could result in a return to homelessness. 

The State of Arizona recognizes the benefits provided by Justa Center
resulting in our status as a Qualified Charitable Organization.
Donations provide the donor with a 1:1 tax reduction.