Glendale’s Community Development Advisory Committee

Glendale’s Community Development Advisory Committee will make recommendations on $246,000 in funding; agencies have requested nearly four times that total.

The city of Glendale held a Community Development Advisory Committee meeting Wednesday, Jan. 8, where 26 agencies presented their plans and requests for projects. The agencies ranged from nonprofits focused on youth to organizations focusing on reducing the population of unsheltered homelessness.

Lisa Baker, who is on the advisory committee, said the estimated funding to be distributed is based on the previous fiscal year. The 2020-2021 entitlement is estimated to be $2,473,509.

Baker said $494, 701 goes toward the Community Revitalization Division. City of Glendale Housing receives $742,052. The Community Development Block Grant receives $865,480 for physical improvements. The Community Development Block Grant receives $371,026 for public services.

In addition, $194,273 is awarded to Emergency Solutions Grants, and $477,095 is awarded to the Home Investment Partnerships Program, Baker said.

The City Council has set aside $126,000 of these funds for a new homelessness services program, Baker said. This leaves $246,000 to be awarded in block grants. The total requests for funding from the Jan. 8, presentations totals over $900,000.

The mayor and city council have also set aside $75,000 in Emergency Services Grant funds for the City Homelessness Program.  The requests for funding in the ESG category total $214,040, Baker said. 

Baker said each organization must go through the city’s application process, in which they are asked about their organization’s mission, its structure, funding, and additional background information.

The final public hearing for the remaining applications took place Jan. 15. The CDAC meets at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, to give its recommendations. 

The CDAC recommendations will be presented to the mayor and city council at a Feb. 25 workshop.  After the presentation, Baker said the mayor and council will either send them back to CDAC for reconsideration or have them placed on a future voting meeting agenda. Council vote is required for funding.

Karl Gentles, executive director of Back to School Clothing Drive, presented a request of $10,000 from the city to support the New Clothes, New Beginnings annual distribution to be held at Grand Canyon University, Monday, July 20, to Thursday, July 23. 

Gentles said the organization has been in partnership with Glendale for over 15 years, and it wants to help families who need assistance with expenses.

“As a result of our corporate funding and other funding we receive, we will support 160 students from Glendale going forward,” Gentles said. “It could go up as many as 300.”

The event helps roughly 5,000 students, Gentles said, all of which is supported by roughly 2,000 volunteers. 

“Many families cannot afford to replenish school uniforms throughout the year, so that’s where we come in,” Gentles said. “Each child that benefits from our program receives approximately $350 worth of school clothing.”

With these numbers in mind, Gentles said about $1,500 goes to every family coming through the organization. Gentles said families can use the extra money for other bills, such as gas. In addition, the organization provides kids with free dental screening as well as other dental treatments. 

“I think what people know us for is a huge boost to self-esteem, which is really important as a child goes through school,” Gentles said. “We’re really about leveling the playing field for our kids, making sure they have the exact same things other kids have, so they can accomplish what they need to in school.”

Another organization that presented at the meeting was Angels on Patrol, which is a resource law enforcement in the valley can use to ensure the families they meet are safe. 

Melinda Cadena, executive director of Angels on Patrol, said the organization was founded in 2009 to be a direct source for on-duty police officers when they encounter barriers in the field.

She gave the example of a family who has encountered a dangerous perpetrator who got away and the cops are unable to find them.

“The family remains vulnerable as the suspect can return at any time and cause additional harm,” Cadena said. 

Although emergency shelters can be an option, Cadena said they are often at capacity and unable to help. Angels on Patrol would pay for the hotel costs in a situation like this and help the family connect with the right resources, Cadena said. 

“Our service not only helps families but also ensures police officers feel they have completed their duty to the force,” Cadena said. 

Cadena said Angels on Patrol received 231 requests in 2019, and 31 came from Glendale. It was able to touch the lives of 86 Glendale residents, Cadena said. A number she wants to double.  

“Not only can it be done, but it also needs to be,” Cadena said. “We want to ensure every Glendale police officer knows they have access to a direct source just for them.”

“Our unique mission not only stabilizes and empowers families in crisis, but it helps bridge a gap, ensuring there is a strong positive relationship between police and community,” Cadena said. 

Another nonprofit organization was Phoenix Rescue Mission’s program Glendale Works, which focuses on reducing the number of unsheltered homelessness in the Valley.

Nathan Smith, Phoenix Rescue Mission director of community engagement, said, “The problem of unsheltered homelessness all across Maricopa County, all across the city of Glendale, continues. If you look at the numbers going back to 2014 up until the most recent count, the number for unsheltered population has continued to rise.”

Glendale Works helps the homeless by providing labor, Smith said. It goes out to the streets and identifies individuals who need a place to live and offers them a job.