Founded in 1990 by a grassroots committee of community activists, Homeward Bound is a transitional housing program for homeless and domestic violence families with children in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona. Homeward Bound is recognized as the largest provider of transitional housing in Arizona. Our mission is to assist families achieve economic independence, secure long-term, safe, decent, affordable housing and break multi-generational cycles of homelessness and domestic violence.
Beginning with one family and one home, Homeward Bound now owns and operates 162 housing units, which house as many as 595 people, more than 400 of whom are children. In 2000, Homeward Bound opened The Thunderbirds Family Village, a five-acre, secured campus that contains 80 two-bedroom housing units. This housing focuses on younger mothers and their children who have been victimized by domestic violence and homelessness. In addition to The Thunderbirds Family Village, 82 families participate in Homeward Bound’s scattered-site transitional housing program.
Homeward Bound assists families with a “hand up, not a handout.” Each family participating in the program contributes 30 percent of their adjusted gross income for housing, utilities, and support services.
In addition to transitional housing, Homeward Bound provides a 12- to 24-month comprehensive social services program including case management, mental health services, employment services, life skills programs, and affordable and accessible childcare.
Homeward Bound is a Study of Success
Since its inception in 1990, thousands of children and their families have graduated from the Homeward Bound program and have become self-sufficient, contributing members of society.
Homeward Bound was a 1993 recipient of the “President’s Volunteer Action Award,” chosen by the Board of Directors of the Points of Light Foundation from 4,200 applicants. The award, presented by President Bill Clinton at the White House, was given in recognition of the agency’s unique and effective use of the Family Sponsor program.
Homelessness and Domestic Violence
Families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. Studies have found that nearly 20 percent of the homeless are children. Many families are living just one paycheck away from the streets. An unexpected crisis, such as illness, death, job loss, desertion or divorce can force families with children out onto the streets. The working poor are then homeless.
Domestic violence happens when one member of a household harms another member of the household. In a recent survey of women in Maricopa County, 16 percent admitted to currently being in an abusive relationship. Sixty-two percent have children at home who are present during the abuse.
It is crucial that these families learn how to live independent and healthy lives so that their children will not repeat what has become, for far too many, a way of life. By teaching families alternative patterns, we all benefit from productive, stable, and self-sufficient citizens.
The community support we receive at Homeward Bound ensures the success of our programs and allows us to continue helping families attain their goal of self-sufficiency. This support ranges from volunteers sharing their time, donors making a financial contribution and others providing donations to help a family become self-sufficient. Support from the community comes from individuals to large organizations and is essential to the accomplishment of our mission and the ultimate success of our families.
In particular, Family Sponsors often play a key role in assisting families. Homeward Bound’s Give a Child a Chance program offers donors the opportunity to sponsor one child for one year in the Homeward Bound program.
Ongoing sources of support and funding include individual donations, corporate giving, private foundations, community sponsorships, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), city, county, and state HOME funds, Supportive Housing Program (SHP), the State of Arizona, United Way, and client program rental fees.