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Native American Connections Awarded $5 Million Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant to Help Arizona Families Find Safe Shelter, Housing and Stability
Posted on Nov 22, 2023

Native American Connections Awarded $5 Million Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant to Help Arizona Families Find Safe Shelter, Housing and Stability

Fund grants $117.55 million to 38 nonprofits across the U.S. making measurable progress on reducing family homelessness

PHOENIX – (Nov. 21, 2023): Native American Connections (NAC), a leader in homeless and low-income and permanent supportive housing, emergency shelter and behavioral health and integrated health services, today announced that it has received a $5 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund. This is the sixth round of annual Day 1 Families Fund grants, which recognize leading organizations doing compassionate, needle-moving work to help families experiencing homelessness secure housing and achieve stability.

“The greater Phoenix area is experiencing some of the highest rates of homelessness in the country, along with the lowest inventory of affordable housing. This funding came to the right place at the right time,” said Trula Breuninger, President and CEO of NAC.

This one-time, uniquely flexible grant will support NAC in serving as a critical lifeline to children and adults in families experiencing homelessness, who represent more than a quarter of the homeless population nationally. NAC plans to use its Day 1 Families Fund grant to conduct outreach to homeless families, bringing them into safe shelters with wraparound services designed to transition families into a stabilized housing environment with access to supportive services, integrated health care, life skills and, ultimately, an improved quality of life.

NAC was selected as a Day 1 Families Fund grant recipient by a group of national advisors who are leading advocates and experts on homelessness and service provision. National advisors brought expertise on housing justice, advancing racial equity and helping programs employ resources effectively to assist families out of homelessness.

Over the past six years, the Day 1 Families Fund has provided 208 grants totaling more than $630 million to organizations around the country working on the frontlines to identify unsheltered families, help families regain housing and connect families experiencing homelessness to vital services. A selection of more than half of the Day 1 Families Fund grantees who received funding between 2018 through 2021 report that, to date, they have used their grants to divert more than 28,000 families from experiencing homelessness, connect more than 30,000 unsheltered families with safe shelter and help more than 75,000 families access the services they need.

This year, the Fund issued a total of $117.55 million in grants to 38 organizations. The Day 1 Families Fund has now granted this award to organizations in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. New states this year include Arkansas, Vermont and Wyoming. Other organizations receiving grants in Arizona include Primavera Foundation and UMOM New Day Centers. The full list of awardees is available at bezosdayonefund.org/day1familiesfund.

Launched in 2018, the Bezos Day One Fund made a $2 billion commitment to focus on making meaningful and lasting impacts in two areas: funding existing nonprofits that help families experiencing homelessness, and creating a network of new, nonprofit tier-one preschools in low-income communities. The Bezos Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to help families experiencing homelessness—including those who are unsheltered or staying in shelters—regain safe, stable housing and achieve well-being. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. For more information, visit www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund.


About Native American Connections

Native American Connections (NAC) improves the lives of individuals and families through Native American culturally competent behavioral health, affordable housing and community development services. Beginning with its first alcohol rehabilitation residence serving 16 Native American men in 1972, NAC has grown to own/operate 26 sites that include 1,286 apartments for homeless or low-income individuals and families, two homeless youth shelters and two residential substance use treatment centers providing family centered treatment. NAC is nationally known for its innovative approach with families, proactively addressing Social Determinants of Health. NAC understands the complex structural and societal factors that are responsible for most health inequities and poor health outcomes, housing being a prominent factor. Stable housing affirms human dignity, promotes social equity in marginalized communities, reduces crime and victimization, reduces public costs and contributes to community stability.

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A "chronically homeless" individual is defined to mean a homeless individual with a disability who lives either in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or in an emergency shelter or in an institutional care facility if the individual has been living in the facility for fewer than ninety (90) days and had been living in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven or in an emergency shelter immediately before entering the institutional care facility. In order to meet the ‘‘chronically homeless’’ definition, the individual also must have been living as described above continuously for at least twelve (12) months or on at least four (4) separate occasions in the last three (3) years, where the combined occasions total a length of time of at least twelve (12) months. Each period separating the occasions must include at least seven (7) nights of living in a situation other than a place not meant for human habitation, in an emergency shelter or in a safe haven.

Federal nondiscrimination laws define a person with a disability to include any (1) individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) individual with a record of such impairment; or (3) individual who is regarded as having such an impairment. In general, a physical or mental impairment includes, but is not limited to, examples of conditions such as orthopedic, visual, speech and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), developmental disabilities, mental illness, drug addiction, and alcoholism.