Prescott Area Shelter Services Provides Services and Support to Guide People Out of Homelessness
By Megan Yakovich
In the winter of 2007, Prescott Area Women’s Shelter (now Prescott Area Shelter Services) opened in the basement of Hillside Church following many community conversations regarding a potential need for an emergency drop-in shelter for women and children.
The volunteers and fiscal organizations running the shelter at the time quickly experienced that need, and in 2009, PASS opened its doors in its current location.
“Our mission is to serve women, children, and veterans by providing temporary housing, resources, individualized case management, and a pathway to permanent housing,” Executive Director Carmen Frederic says.
Carmen, who has spent more than 25 years in social work and case management, was in school to become a teacher (just like her mom, who spent 40 years in special ed and taught special needs cooking classes out of her home) when an eye-opening experience inspired her to change her major. “During my work study, I tutored a little boy whose mom was home on Hospice. As I supported the family with food boxes and other resources, I realized I wanted to be a family advocate for people in need.”
Over the course of the past ten years, PASS has served more than 2,500 women and children and provided more than 50,000 bed nights, averaging approximately 5,000 bed nights per year.
Offering emergency shelter and a 90-day program designed to provide women with the support, skills, and resources they need to transition out of homelessness, PASS also has an 88% transition rate into permanent housing. Their return rate is less than five percent.
“We mentor strongly, here. Yes, we provide shelter, food, and showers—basic needs,” Carmen says. “But we also focus on healing the individual, case management, goal setting, planning, job search … doing everything we can to get women back on their feet. We meet one on one with every resident once a week, and even have an incentive program to motivate women to save money during their stay with us—we’ll match their savings up to a certain amount if they meet criterion like attending financial classes.”
With staff and/or volunteers on location seven days a week, PASS is equipped with 19 beds. Consistently at capacity with a wait list, an expansion project is currently underway to add two separate rooms above the community room for mothers with sons ages 12 and older.
PASS also offers emergency shelter to five people per night on average during Operation Deep Freeze, when the temperature drops below 30 degrees.
“We strive to be a guiding force for our residents, promoting positivity and advocating for them as much as we possibly can.”
As a non-profit, PASS relies heavily on the generosity of the community for donations and volunteer hours.
To find out more about how to help, including information about the 11th annual Mardi Gras Afternoon Tea fundraiser on April 25, 2020, and charitable tax credit donations, visit https://prescottshelters.org/.