Gila County receives Housing Hero award
Gila County Receives Housing Hero Award
More than two dozen attended a recent Gila County Task Force on Homelessness meeting in Tonto Basin - the group formed just in the early Summer of 2019, and has steadily grown to include county, city and town officials, along with social service agencies, clergy and local residents who want to help. Growing attendance at the monthly meetings is good news — and the August audience applauded another mark of progress: the day before their meeting Gila County Board of Supervisors Woody Cline, Tommie Martin and Tim Humphrey were saluted with the Brian Mickelsen Housing Hero Award by the Arizona Department of Housing at the state agency’s annual conference. The supervisors earned one of eight Mickelsen Housing Hero Awards, recognized for “Innovative Supportive Housing Services.” Other award categories ranged from affordable housing and rural multifamily projects to tribal initiatives, and outstanding Community Development Block Grant funded projects.
Gila County’s Board of Supervisors earned the nomination “based on leadership in the homeless arena and for working to establish this task force,” said Woody Cline, District Three Supervisor.
“Local nonprofits such as Payson Assisting Displaced Students (PADS) and our food banks in Payson and Pine-Strawberry do what they can to help the homeless, but this is a growing problem and one that, while local communities can deal with symptoms, we saw the need for a countywide effort to address the bigger picture and to identify our homeless and try to provide services to improve their lives, not just for today. As elected county supervisors, we appreciate this recognition from the Arizona Department of Housing and this award helps spotlight Gila County staff such as Malissa Buzan who have been helping homeless people on a case-by-case basis for decades, and working toward solutions,” he added.