Andy Kim is a former GOVERNING staff writer.
In an effort to battle chronic homelessness, Tempe, Ariz., is participating in a pilot program to place homeless people in homes—and keep them there. The Arizona Republic reports that the city is working with the Valley of the Sun United Way to use $661,447 in federal stimulus money to supply 35 housing units for chronically homeless people. The program, set to run for three years, accepts applicants who have been homeless for over a year and have no prior felonies in the past five years. Participants are placed in an apartment for 18 months and connected with a case worker to help them lead stable, self-sufficient lives. Altruistic reasons aside, the program will help free up Maricopa County resources to serve those who are temporarily homeless. According to county statistics, chronically homeless people make up about 20 percent of the general homeless population, but use about half of all the homeless emergency resources.