Maricopa County Hits Milestone Providing Services to Unhoused Population

June 2021

Maricopa County Human Services Department has achieved a milestone of providing housing, transportation and vaccination services to more than 5,000 people experiencing homelessness.

“We knew we had to act fast to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness, and prevent that number from climbing, so early on in the pandemic, we created a comprehensive COVID-19 response plan,” reflects Bruce Liggett, Director of the Maricopa County Human Services Department. “Since March 2020, we have dedicated $17.5 million in funding toward supporting more than 5,000 people experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County.”

COVID-19 Response Plan for People Experiencing Homelessness

Five main principles have guided Human Services’ efforts to provide support and services those the County’s unhoused population since March 2020:

1. Protect the Most Vulnerable: Prioritize services to ensure that the most vulnerable who are sheltering in densely congregate settings have the option to transition to a non-congregate setting to avoid contracting COVID-19.

2. Slow the Spread: Provide for the basic needs of people experiencing homelessness to slow the spread of COVID-19. Ensure people experiencing homelessness and service providers have access to PPE, hand-washing stations, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.

3. Provide Safe Isolation: Provide a safe location for people experiencing homelessness to isolate when they receive a positive COVID-19 test result or if they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

4. Provide Access to Regional Transportation: Ensure that transportation is available for people experiencing homelessness and inform the medical and shelter communities how to provide referrals for these resources.

5. Provide Permanent Housing Solutions: Offer access to permanent housing to people that were displaced due to COVID-19 and those that are at risk for having severe medical issues related to COVID-19.

“As we expand our services to support the needs of people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic and in preparation for the high heat season, we are also working to make sure that people have a safe, cooled space to sleep,” said Rachel Milne, Assistant Director of Maricopa County Human Services, Housing and Community Development. “As these individuals come to shelter and housing locations, we are also able to offer meals, case management services and COVID-19 vaccinations.”

For more information on Maricopa County’s response to COVID-19, visit



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