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Phoenix dedicates $36M to fighting homelessness, strengthening workforce

The Phoenix City Council has allocated a portion of its COVID-19 relief funding to workforce programs and child care assistance.
Credit: KPNX
Phoenix City Hall

PHOENIX — The Phoenix City Council voted on Tuesday to approve an allocation of about $36 million of its federal COVID-19 relief funding to programs helping individuals needing job training or who are experiencing homelessness. 

In June, the city created a strategic plan for how it would spend $198 million it was given through the American Rescue Plan Act to help Phoenix recover from the pandemic. 

According to the plan, about $143 million would be spent on "community investments," another $50 million on city operations, and $5 million would be saved as a contingency. 

The council approved this week spending a large portion of its ARPA dollars on services that can help Phoenix residents get back to work or avoid becoming homeless. 

About $10 million of the funds were allocated to an apprentice program that helps residents complete classes or job training through Maricopa Community Colleges. 

Another $10 million was set aside for offering mental health services or substance abuse treatment to individuals experiencing homelessness. 

Phoenix allocated $12 million to a lottery program that awards $1,000 stipends to needy families. The stipends can only be spent on necessities like food, transportation, or child care. 

Airport employees can apply for child care vouchers that will be funded through a $4-million ARPA grant allocated by the city. 

“My goal is to get people into jobs – it is one of the most effective things we can do to get families back on their feet,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “By also ensuring these families and individuals receive wrap-around services – like childcare, training, and direct assistance – we increase the chances that the gains they’re able to make now will become permanent."

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