With $9.4 million from the Arizona State Dept of Housing and another $3 million from the Parsons Foundation, Arizona will soon have new homes for 48 low-income families. The funds will also support building a 5,500 square foot community center that will provide services like employment assistance, GED tutoring and wellness programs.
The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation primarily focuses on the Phoenix region of Arizona. It is devoted to the idea that "every person is entitled to an education, good nutrition, medical care, a stress-free, happy environment and the hope that they too, will share in the American Dream."
Bob Parsons made his money by founding GoDaddy and, earlier, sold Parsons Technology to Intuit for $64 million. The foundation born of this tech billionaire's money has funded many projects for the disadvantaged and those left behind. This includes giving $2 million to Circle the City to expand its medical services for the homeless. It also awarded $1.4 million to the Central Arizona Shelter Service in 2014.
Now, with new housing for 48 families, the Parsons Foundation is hoping to make a big dent in the homeless families population of Phoenix, which according to local agencies, can range from 50 to 75 families on the shelter waiting lists and hundreds more looking for affordable housing options.
The money will go to UMOM New Day Centers, which have been in the business of helping homeless people since 1964. Started as the Arizona Methodist Church Extension Society, the charity morphed into the United Methodist Outreach Ministries (UMOM) between 1984 and 1989. The UMOM New Day Center was acquired in 1992 and became the main location for providing emergency and transitional shelter for families at that time.
In October 2009, the campus relocated across the street in the remodeled Days Inn and Super 8 Motels. The UMOM New Day Center now houses about 500 folks each night, and more than two thirds are children from infants to age 15.