Homeless Mike and his dog Pony (Photo by Nicole Pena)

October 30, 2019

AZ Business Magazine

Garcia Family Foundation gives $10M to Human Services Campus

The Garcia Family Foundation has made a $10 million multi-year gift to Human Services Campus, Inc. (HSC) to build on the vision and mission of the agency that manages a multi-use campus where 15 independent nonprofit agencies collaborate to address the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness.

“The Human Services Campus is a national model of excellence in providing services, resources and hope for men and women experiencing homelessness,” said Garcia Family Foundation President Jon Ehlinger. “The collective efforts of this collaboration have proven effective in identifying and developing solutions to a very difficult challenge. Through this gift we want to provide both a solid financial foundation to continue and enhance that important work and to challenge the broader community to engage in the effort by leveraging the gift with additional support to fund and fulfill these critical needs.”

During the past year, more than 6,600 individuals have been served and connected with services on the Human Services Campus, a process that begins with individual assessments at the Brian Garcia Welcome Center to identify barriers and develop individual strategies to move men and women into permanent housing.  The Brian Garcia Welcome Center is named in honor of the son of Garcia Family Foundation founders Ernie and Joanne Garcia.

“We are deeply grateful for this incredibly generous gift from the Garcia Family Foundation and what it means for the men and women we serve every day,” said HSC Executive Director Amy Schwabenlender. “ With this gift and the potential it provides for additional support, we will be able to improve, expand and enhance our ability to address homelessness through a diverse range of opportunities, partnerships and collaborations.”

Among the investments targeted for the gift is formalizing an operational partnership with Arizona State University’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions to address homelessness.  

The gift supports the new Watts College Nexus, a “backbone” team dedicated to coordinating and aligning systems, building capacity and co-creating solutions with service providers for preventing and ending homelessness in the region.  A dedicated Watts College liaison will work with the HSC and campus partners on practical projects drawing on ASU’s students, faculty and industry partners – including data harmonization, expanded internships, and outreach.  

“Homelessness is a regional challenge requiring diverse community engagement and involvement,” said Jonathan Koppell, dean of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions and chair of the Human Services Campus board of directors.  “This strategic partnership will provide critical resources that will both deepen and broaden the mission, vision and outcomes of the Human Services Campus’s efforts and leadership in identifying and finding solutions for men and women experiencing homelessness.”

For more information about the Human Services Campus, visit www.hsc-az.org.