MAG honors Apache Junction program with Desert Peaks Award

The Community Resource Center, housed in the Genesis Project in Apache Junction, invites different organizations to visit the center each week so that they can connect community members to resources in such areas as health care, employment and legal services. (Submitted photo)

The Apache Junction Chronic Homeless Committee will receive the Desert Peaks Award for public partnership Wednesday, June 27, during a Maricopa Association of Governments event in Phoenix.

The Apache Junction Chronic Homeless Committee “brings together local and regional public and nonprofit organizations to support programs and services for members of the Apache Junction community who are homeless and at-risk of homelessness,” according to a release announcing the award.

The Apache Junction Chronic Homeless Committee brings together nonprofits to help the homeless or those at-risk of becoming homeless. (Submitted photo)

The local organization is one of several programs and individuals to be honored during the awards program, which begins 5 p.m. at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel, 2620 W. Dunlap Ave.

According to the release, the Apache Junction committee identified six key strategies to help the chronically homeless: outreach, collaboration, policy, housing, employment and basic needs.

“At the heart of the partnership is a community center created to connect a variety of basic services to those who need it the most” the release stated.

For the last two years, the Chronic Homeless Committee has helped conduct the annual Point in Time homeless street count, which helps to address housing issues, attract new services and providers to the community and supports the Project Connect resource fair.

The Community Resource Center invites different organizations to visit the center each week so that these organizations can connect community members to resources such as health care, benefit services (Social Security, Department of Economic Security, medical, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), phones, housing, employment, legal services and mentoring, according to the release.

Partnering agencies involved in the Apache Junction effort include Arizona Department of Economic Security, Arizona Department of Housing, city of Apache Junction, Community Action Human Resources Agency, Community Alliance Against Family Abuse, Empowerment Systems, The Genesis Project, Horizon Health and Wellness, La Frontera, Pinal County, ResCare, Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Social Security Administration and the United Way of Pinal County.

Others being honored are:

Lifetime Achievement Award – Dennis Smith

Public-Private Partnership – Dementia Friendly Tempe

Professional Service – Elizabeth Finn, president judge, Glendale

Regional Partnership – Text to 9-1-1 Project

Outstanding Economic Development Champion – Avondale Economic Development Department

Regional Excellence – Greg Stanton

MAG Chair Jackie Meck, mayor of Buckeye, will emcee the event and will discuss the state of the region during the passing of the gavel at the end of the awards program.

After receiving the gavel, incoming MAG Chair Gail Barney, mayor of Queen Creek, will lay out his leadership focus for the upcoming year.

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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