Signals AZ

Tempe Promotes Healthy Giving to Unsheltered People

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Tempe is encouraging generous residents to be healthy givers through its new campaign “Real change, not spare change” to support the most effective, lasting help for people who are unsheltered and in need of resources.

One-off giving at busy intersections or other public spaces can delay or divert a person from seeking help. Healthy giving supports a person’s long-term needs and promotes working hand-in-hand with experienced nonprofits and faith groups who are helping people end their homelessness.

Tempe Promotes Healthy Giving to Unsheltered People signals az

“Tempe is an incredibly caring community and we want our residents to continue giving from the heart,” said Mayor Corey Woods. “There are so many nonprofits and faith groups providing critical services to individuals and families in Tempe. When we work together, we can support a person’s long-term needs, like housing and substance abuse treatment, and help them have a better future.”

As healthy givers, residents are encouraged to:

  • Find an area you feel strongly about – shelter, job assistance, food help, mental health care – and join forces with established organizations.
  • Extend volunteering beyond the holiday season. Volunteers are needed year-round to serve meals, organize events, sort donations, be a mentor and more.
  • Volunteer with the city’s HOPE homeless outreach team. Help with our annual homeless street count and assist with outreach. No experience needed; the city provides shadowing and training. Find details at
  • Donate to organizations that are working on long-term solutions.

Nonprofit organizations like Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA), for example, provide a broad range of services to those experiencing homelessness.

“Homelessness is caused by a myriad of issues and ending this problem in our community requires comprehensive solutions,” said Deborah Arteaga, TCAA’s chief executive officer. “Engaged service providers like Tempe Community Action Agency can provide access to shelter, employment, healthcare and housing. By supporting experienced, local social service agencies, generous Tempe residents can get a much greater return on their investment.”

It is understandably hard to turn down someone who appears to be in need; residents and visitors all feel good helping someone. But if people get their needs met on the streets, they feel less need to accept shelter and resources.

Money given at intersections or other public places might also be used to purchase drugs such as fentanyl and prolong a person’s struggles with substance abuse. This could potentially lead to harm for children or family around them.

Importantly, Tempe is concerned about the safety of people asking for and providing money at busy intersections and freeway entrances and exits. Stepping out among vehicles to collect money is dangerous, as is hindering the flow of traffic when lights turn green. Drivers and pedestrians can say hello and greet the individual instead of giving money.

Learn more about healthy giving at Find a list of organizations serving Tempe that regularly need volunteers and support at

Media contact: Susie Steckner, or 480-734-5186.

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