SHOW LOW — The White Mountain Coalition Against Homelessness held a ribbon cutting at 2791 East Adams Street in Show Low last Thursday, Apr. 29 to celebrate their new property where they will develop a transitional housing program.

The property and the project through which the Coalition will operate has been named Victory Village. The primary goal of the program is to help homeless individuals transition to self-sufficiency in 90 days.

The White Mountain Outpost of the Salvation Army is an important partner in the Coalition and will be involved in the process from construction to client intake.

“This is to help people that are serious about making an honest change and putting in the required work to become self sufficient within the program’s timeframe and guidelines,” said Salvation Army Case Manager Maria Stokes.

Stokes will be directly involved with the off-site intake process through the White Mountain Outpost of the Salvation Army located at 5658 AZ-260 in Lakeside. She is also the acting supervisor and will be living on-site with the clients once the program begins.

“We are very excited to be getting ready to break ground on our new housing for the transitional housing program,” said Stokes. “This is a very positive thing for our community.”

The Coalition has been working hand-in-hand with the city of Show Low to purchase the property and to ensure that it meets all city codes and ordinances.

The Coalition was able to purchase the property with immense help from local donations. New Hope Fellowship and Cornerstone Community Church, Navopache Construction, Forward Look Construction LLC, ABC Supply, Co. Inc., Arizona Public Service, Bilbie’s Interiors, Arrowhead Architecture and many more make up the list of donors to this community project.

“These local businesses and churches have donated not just money but their time, their services and their expertise,” said Stokes. “We are always looking for individuals or organizations and businesses that would like to join our efforts.”

The Coalition is working towards building 8 to 10 small houses that will house approximately 4 to 6 people in each house.

“Our transitional housing program is under the same guidelines that we have used for the last six years,” said Stokes. “It is a clean and sober working program with many other rules including a zero tolerance policy regarding drugs and alcohol.”

There will also be on-site supervision at Victory Village. The intake process will managed and conducted off-site through the Salvation Army in Lakeside.

The property itself will eventually be fenced and monitored by cameras. Loitering will not be allowed and the clients/residents will be accountable for their actions throughout the program.

“We try to create a sense of community within Victory Village,” said Stokes. “That might include group barbecues and on-site social gatherings for the clients.”

The Coalition and the Salvation Army will resume classes and other assistance to help people in the program apply for work, create a personal budget or other assistance to keep them heading towards self sufficiency.

“We try to offer the guidance people need to move a step forward instead of backwards,” said Stokes.

The Coalition intends to start construction as soon as possible but recent increases in the cost of lumber and building supplies may delay it for a short time.

For more information about the program, contact WM Coalition Against Homelessness board president Lee Copeland at 480-518-1178, or contact or Maria Stokes at 928-368-9953.

Reach the reporter at

lsingleton@wmicentral.com

Laura Singleton is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering Show Low city government, business and education.

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