A grand opening ceremony was held April 15 for the new La Mesita Family Homeless Shelter, 2254 W. Ella St. in Mesa. The shelter will provide families with a place to call home for up to 120 days. Parents will work to overcome obstacles that led to their homelessness and obtain housing through case management and on-site services, according to a press release.
“This property has a long history of serving our community and that legacy continues with Phase Two opening at La Mesita,” Mesa Mayor John Giles said in the release. “Nearly 25 years ago it was one of the first women’s shelters in the Valley and I am so proud of what it has become today.”
The La Mesita Family Homeless Shelter, operated by Mesa-based A New Leaf, has 16 furnished one -and two-bedroom units. Families will be provided basic needs including food, clothing and hygiene products upon entry. Shelter residents will receive weekly one-on-one case management to address ongoing needs, challenges and achievements and to work towards securing permanent housing as quickly as possible. Other on-site services include employment assistance, financial literacy classes, computer training, counseling services and preschool and after-school programming.
“La Mesita is such an important part of District 3 and it is wonderful that we have a place that is dedicated to providing assistance to those people in need,” Vice Mayor Dennis Kavanaugh said in the release. “Its location along the light rail will provide an added benefit and make the transition to independent living that much easier.”
The city of Mesa is among numerous public, private and nonprofit organizations that have partnered with A New Leaf to provide funding for the shelter. The city’s portion was from a Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“We are grateful to the city of Mesa and all of our partners who have made the La Mesita shelter a reality,” A New Leaf President and CEO Michael Hughes said in the release. “We are the new home for 16 families who are working to transition from homelessness to independent living through a variety of services available at the shelter.”
The grand opening is Phase Two at La Mesita. Phase One was the transformation of an old motel serving as a family homeless shelter to the state-of-the-art La Mesita Apartments, which is an 80-unit affordable housing facility that opened in early 2014 to help address a long-term solution for homelessness. Construction on Phase Three is expected to begin in 2016 and will include 30 additional housing units for the chronically homeless.
The April 15 ceremony coincides with fundraising efforts for the La Mesita Shelter Campaign, which has a goal to raise $11.5 million. The funds will be used for capital construction costs, programs and to create an endowment to fund future needs.
For more information about La Mesita and the fundraising campaign, visit www.TurnANewLeaf.org or call A New Leaf at 480-969-4024.
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