Native American Connections Opens New Shelter for Youth
Gila River Indian News
Native American Connections (NAC) opened a new facility Feb. 2 in Surprise as part of their Youth Housing Program aimed to assist people ages 18-26 experiencing homelessness transition to independence and stable housing.
The nonprofit NAC has been dedicated to assisting individuals and families through culturally appropriate health, affordable housing and community development services since 1972.With this new facility, “HomeBase Surprise,” which provides up to 50 beds in a secure dormitory-style living space, NAC now owns and operates 23 facilities throughout the Valley.
With help from community partners, residents have access to weekly medical screenings, behavioral health services, case management, job training, support in obtaining their high school or equivalency diplomas, and higher education.
The goal is to help them reach educational goals and find employment opportunities in order to provide economic stability to support more permanent housing.
Through street outreach, referrals from community agencies and word of mouth, young adults enter this program designed to stabilize and empower them.
“NAC is a pillar of the communities they serve by providing housing, health services and community development projects that support those in need,” said Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs during the grand opening ceremony on Feb. 2. She added, “ I’m excited to see them grow! It’s amazing how far we’ve come in providing services to this population, but also how far we still have to go.”
Since 2020, homelessness has increased 23 percent, according to the 2022 Maricopa County Point-In-Time Homeless Count.
It reported 9,026 homeless individuals, including 624 ages 18-24. Homeless youth and young adults are highly vulnerable to human trafficking, exploitation, addiction and crime.
NAC works to address these issues by providing safe and stable housing for them. For more information on HomeBase services and locations, call (602) 263-5531 or visit nativeamericanconnections.org.