Affordable Housing

Catholic Charities believes that safe, affordable housing is the important first step to helping people overcome adversity, create stability and work toward a successful future. Our affiliate, Housing for Hope, has affordable housing communities for low-income individuals and families.

Catholic Charities Resident Services teams help residents by connecting them with community resources to and facilitating community events.

Thursday, 26 January 2023

Coming Together to House People in Need

Addressing homelessness is about more than housing those in need. It’s about local organizations, landlords, and community members working together to reduce the stigma around homelessness that prevents people from accessing housing and becoming self-sufficient.

Catholic Charities Housing Services Addresses Homelessness

Catholic Charities Housing Services helps get those experiencing homelessness into stable housing and provides them with housing-based case management and resources that can assist with finding employment, transportation, food, and more.

One of the key components of addressing homelessness is building relationships with landlords and property managers who have a heart for helping others. This is especially important in Arizona, where living costs and rents continue to skyrocket and it’s becoming increasingly harder for individuals with limited or fixed incomes to be housed without assistance.

A Property Manager Looking to Help

Catholic Charities Housing Program Manager Anthony Cruz dedicates a great deal of time to getting to know landlords in Yavapai County. Relationships with people like Debra Williams, Property Manager at Sungate Villa II Senior Community in Prescott, are invaluable.

When Anthony first spoke with Debra, winter was fast approaching. He knew it was critical to get those experiencing homelessness into stable housing.

Debra told Anthony that she would be willing to house his client, Vanessa, before the intended move-in date. “I knew more than anything, she wanted to make sure she was helping get Vanessa off the street. It was obvious that she cared, and I knew she’d continue to let us know when she has openings,” Anthony said.

Understanding Barriers to Stability

In her seven years as Property Manager, Debra has worked with Catholic Charities to house several people experiencing homelessness. She knows it’s impossible for people to take care of things like mental illness and substance abuse when they don’t even have a roof over their heads. And she’s seen how homelessness has deeply hurt her community.

From a young age, Debra has had an unwavering sense of empathy and compassion for those who are unsheltered and living on the streets. “I always wanted to make a meaningful impact. I’m just one person trying to do my small part to make a difference,” she said.

Reducing the Stigma

Both Anthony and Debra have seen individuals experiencing homelessness stigmatized in a way that’s both unhelpful and damaging. “The stigma is that these folks don’t work, and that’s just not true. Many people we see do have income, and stable income at that,” said Anthony.

Debra reflects on just how easily and unexpectedly people can find themselves on the brink of homelessness. “I see people who are single with no significant other. They’ve worked hard but can’t make it on their own, and I feel for them.”

Catholic Charities’ Housing Services program works through federal- and state-funded housing vouchers to help individuals secure housing. Clients like Vanessa receive housing-based case management to ensure they can pay their portion of the rent and successfully maintain stable housing.

It Takes a Village

Currently, Catholic Charities has a long waitlist of people who are seeking housing. The program has the funding to assist with housing but needs landlords and property managers who are willing to be part of the solution. Anthony hopes that more support from landlords and community stakeholders will break down the barriers to getting people stably housed.

Anthony is grateful for Debra and how she is standing up for her community. “It takes a village of service providers, including landlords. People like Debra don’t get enough credit. They are the unsung heroes,” said Anthony.

If you are a landlord or property owner who is interested in helping those experiencing homelessness, please contact Anthony Cruz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 928-642-7277.

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