Helping Chandler’s most vulnerable residents in need

June 14, 2021
| by:
Communications and Public Affairs

Last year, life as we knew it changed drastically. Between virtual work or school and staying physically distant from one another, it’s all taken a toll. For some, this pandemic was more than an inconvenience — it resulted in the loss of a business, employment, or a loved one. 

For Army veteran Nicholas Anderson, he had reached “the lowest of the low.” Originally from Sacramento, his job brought him to Chandler three years ago. Anderson was laid off due to COVID and for seven months, he was calling different agencies and organizations trying to get assistance. He made multiple calls made every month, but they resulted in no assistance. After serving three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he thought he had seen it all, but living off unemployment at $240 a week brought on an overwhelming sense of hopelessness.

Without friends or family in Arizona and late payment notices starting to pile up, Anderson was mentally preparing to live on the street. But he knew he couldn’t keep his two fur babies with him and the thought of giving up his cats was too emotional to bear.

That’s when he was referred to the Chandler Cares team, or as Anderson calls them, “the angels who saved my life.” City staff from the Cares teamwork to assist residents who have experienced a loss of income, have unexpected expenses or are in need of food, medical, utility, rental or other assistance. They also were able to make his case a priority as he was on the verge of being evicted.

Since Anderson didn’t have transportation and could no longer afford internet service, staff dropped off an application for assistance to his apartment and returned when it was completed. By working closely with the City’s Cares team and AZCEND, Anderson received seven months of overdue rent payments and utilities, in addition to a food box being delivered to his doorstep.

Receiving the financial assistance to get back on his feet gave Anderson a “reason to start over and have a new lease on life.” In late February, he got hired to work remotely for an IT company based in the Midwest. “From the beginning, the Chandler Cares team told me they were here to help me. The process was hassle-free and I can’t thank them enough for everything they did.”

Anderson is just one of the hundreds of people who have received assistance from the City of Chandler and its nonprofit partners, AZCEND and the Salvation Army Chandler Corps.

We Can Help

Chandler residents in need of rent or utility assistance may apply for the City’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Chandler residents who are concerned they don’t qualify for financial assistance based on income requirements; they still are encouraged to apply. For more information on this program, visit We Can Help

Chandler Cares Team

The Chandler Cares team consists of three City employees who are tasked with helping residents apply for assistance with providers. Their work helps Chandler residents who have experienced a loss of income, have unexpected expenses or are in need of food, medical, utility, rental or other assistance. If you have questions related to where to go for help, qualifying for financial assistance, or need help with AZCEND’s screening process (for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program), the Chandler Cares team can guide you in the right direction.

The Chandler Cares Team has connected hundreds of Chandler residents and has referred even more to nonprofit agencies for assistance. If you need help or know someone who does, contact the Chandler Cares team at 480-782-4302.