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Maricopa County extends Bridge Housing program

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has  pledged $23 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds to extend the county's Bridge Housing program for the next two years. Two hundred and fifty converted hotel rooms across the county will be used to help transition people out of homelessness. 

The county now has four converted hotels where individuals experiencing homelessness have access to shelter, meals and counseling services. Since the start of the pandemic, the Bridge Housing hotel program has helped nearly 700 people move into permanent housing, which county reports is about 80% of participants so far. 

The county had been using one of its leased hotels as a space to quarantine COVID-19 patients experiencing homelessness. The county  ended the quarantine program last month, but it will now add that hotel space to its expanded Bridge Housing program.

Federal pandemic relief funds have allowed the county to make massive investments in housing and homelessness solutions in recent months. The Board of Supervisors  in May put $35 million toward a downpayment assistance program and several new affordable housing construction projects. 

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Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.