An old Flagstaff motel will soon be converted into transitional housing for unsheltered residents, a local non-profit announced earlier this week.
On Monday, the former Travelodge located on East Route 66 was purchased by Housing Solutions of Northern Arizona, CEO Devonna McLaughlin said. The plan is to convert each of the motel’s 44 units into studio apartments.
McLaughlin says the project will “make a meaningful difference in the lives of households experiencing homelessness” and that decent affordable housing is “a foundation for health and stability for families.”
The non-profit said the property, located at 2918 E. Route 66, was paid for using funds from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The grant money was designated to the non-profit by the Arizona Department of Housing, and is a part of a federal program designed to offer citizens financial relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement said the facility will provide families experiencing homelessness with their own apartment unit, “creating social distance to improve health and privacy for each family.”
Residents will be allowed to rent the facility for a maximum of 24 months as a part of a new transitional housing program run by Housing Solutions of Northern Arizona. The program is said to include support services to help households gain resources and identify permanent housing, and is aimed at helping the unsheltered secure a safe place to stay, according to the statement.
The non-profit said it will use the remainder of the CBDG funding on rehabbing the property. The construction project, slated for late winter or early spring, will include bringing the facility up to building code compliance and retrofitting the units with a kitchenette and bathroom.
Housing Solutions of Northern Arizona said it has partnered with Catholic Charities Community Services to provide on-site housing case management services to residents and the Flagstaff Family Food Center to provide food resources to families. The Guidance Center in Flagstaff will provide mental health support services.
Housing Solutions of Northern Arizona currently operates the Sharon Manor Transitional Housing Facility for survivors of domestic violence. The non-profit also offers pre-purchase, foreclosure prevention and financial literacy counseling, in addition to down payment and cost assistance programs targeted toward first-time homebuyers.
Housing Solutions is a member of the Coconino County Continuum of Care; data and client outcomes will be reported through the state’s Homeless Management Information System, as required by the grant funder.
Organizers plan to name the new transitional housing facility JoJo’s Place in honor of a past resident of Sharon Manor who escaped violence and then found permanent housing for her family. JoJo later passed away due to health complications, according to the announcement.
“JoJo was an inspiration to other survivors of domestic violence living at Sharon Manor; her positive and caring nature and infectious smile will be remembered by the staff and residents, whose lives she touched,” the announcement said.
The non-profit said a ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 5 at 11 a.m. at the facility to celebrate the future impact of JoJo’s Place and to recognize the community partners that assisted with establishing the program.