In 2015, the City of Chandler significantly increased efforts to engage landlords in opportunities to partner with the City and local non-profit organizations to serve households experiencing homelessness. The initiative began with outreach to the local realtors association about the benefits of participating in the Section 8 program as a landlord.
Efforts continued with the development of a quarterly landlord newsletter dispelling myths typically associated with public housing programs, publication of a landlord’s guide to participation, designation of City staff responsible for landlord outreach and engagement, and maintenance of a real-time landlord listing.
In 2015, the City of Chandler, in partnership with AZCEND, established the coordination of employment services with housing and homeless assistance to ensure job development and training opportunities are available for persons participating in the I-HELP (emergency shelter for individuals and families) and TBRA programs.
Annually, Chandler partners with ARIZONA@WORK to provide a one-day employment and training event, which includes job placement, resume writing, and access to the East Valley Job Center. Thirty percent of participants obtain jobs. In addition, St. Joseph the Worker has a weekly presence at AZCEND to provide Employment focused case management services.|
In 2017, the City formalized and expanded this partnership with the establishment of an Interdepartmental Homeless Operations Team (IHOT) to ensure a coordinated citywide response to ending homelessness. IHOT member departments include Police, Fire, City Prosecutor’s Office, Neighborhood Resources, Law, Community Services, and Public Works.
IHOT members meet monthly to discuss opportunities and concerns impacting multiple departments, develop plans to assist vulnerable residents and impacted neighborhoods and businesses, and leverage resources and expertise. The Police, Prosecutor’s and Neighborhood Resources Departments work collaboratively to reduce arrest and incarceration through coordinated outreach, diversion, and specialty courts.
Training for Law Enforcement
In 2017, a computer-based training presentation was created to educate Chandler Police Officers about homeless outreach and engagement services, and other resources within the Chandler community. The training is required of all sworn staff.
In addition, the Police Department has increased the amount of Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) required for police officers, resulting in improved outcomes for persons in crisis.