Homeless women and children are the most vulnerable in a community. Prescott Area Shelter Services (PASS) provides temporary emergency shelter to women in a facility including a 19-bed dormitory and two additional rooms to serve moms with children (including sons over the age of 12).
The shelter contains a community room, a kitchen, four bathrooms, and a conference room equipped with computers.
On average, PASS serves between 15 and 20 women and children each night – seven nights a week, 365 days a year. PASS kept its doors open during the COVID crisis and has remained a constant source of hope for those in need during a very traumatic and stressful time. They strive to ensure that every woman and child at the shelter feels safe and supported.
“When my children and I became homeless, it felt like everything was falling apart. PASS welcomed our family into their doors during our time of need and uncertainty,” said Tiffany, whose family temporarily stayed with PASS. “Their staff was compassionate and understanding, which helped ease our worries to get through such a rough time. We went from not knowing where we would eat, sleep, shower, or do laundry, to going into PASS, where my children felt safe, and I could focus on getting back on our feet. We were lucky to find a new place to call home in a few months, and I could get a job. It has been 1.5 years since we left PASS and I am not sure where we would be without them! Thank you all for helping our family. It meant so much!”
Tiffany’s success story is not unique. In the Emergency Shelter, PASS clients have a successful transition rate of 87%. This rate of success means most women who have been in crisis-filled situations have turned their lives around. They have moved into independent housing, gained employment or a source of income, and have completed programs. They are making massive progress in a short amount of time.
The organization is excited to increase that rate of success with its new Transitional Housing Program. The program’s goal is to provide safe, permanent, and affordable housing so single women who have established some stability at the shelter can move into their own place – and a new chapter of their lives.
The fact is, many homeless – even after they find employment and are ready to live on their own – may still have some barriers to housing. Fixing their credit, establishing a good rental history and saving funds for deposits can keep them from finding a permanent home. The Transition Housing Program, which can last six months to two years, allows the women to become more independent while still receiving case management services.
As a result of the program, most women successfully transition out into permanent housing.
Another fantastic service PASS offers is the Smile with Confidence program. The program supports women and children they serve at their shelter by paying for dental procedures that AHCCCS does not cover. It also helps guests we serve who are uninsured to attain needed dental work. In addition, the Smile with Confidence program helps the guests they serve to strengthen their confidence by improving their oral health and appearance. The confidence they gain helps them feel comfortable when applying for jobs, going to interviews, and on their journey to improving their situation.
“PASS gave me the confidence I needed to like who I am and who I am becoming,” said one client. “When I look in the mirror, I’m at peace. Peace with my sobriety and peace with myself.”
Executive Director Carmen Frederic says one of the keys to the organization’s success is an small army of about 100 dedicated volunteers who cook meals, run the office, advocate for clients, maintain the property and fundraise for the group. This includes a hardworking board.
Without them, PASS could not do what we do and reach so many in need,” Carmen says.
“It takes a village” is an African proverb that means that an entire community of people must provide for and interact positively with those who need it most. It is a saying that the people at PASS take to heart. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact PASS at 928-778-5933.