Maricopa County’s Human Services Department provides many types of assistance to families and individuals facing adversity. In many cases, the employees within the Department work together with their colleagues to collectively solve problems and provide a holistic approach to service delivery. This approach provides unique and effective solutions to the larger challenges facing the families they serve.
One example of this collaborative approach was when the team came together to help Ahnoria and her family. They were struggling with the effects of COVID-19, including facing an impending eviction. That’s when Ahnoria reached out to the Maricopa County Human Services Department and made contact with Ethel Cunningham, a family support specialist in the Early Education Division. Ahnoria and her mother, who both worked to support the household and raise the children, had been unable to go to work due to illness and had fallen behind on paying their rent.
When Ahnoria confided in Ethel and shared details about her family’s situation, they had only one week left to pay rent or would be forced to leave their home.
Ethel immediately jumped into action and connected her to the County’s Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance program. Through this program, eligible families and individuals can receive financial assistance for their rent and utilities. Ethel helped Ahnoria’s mother complete the application for assistance and then she shared the application with her colleague in the Community Services Division, Landlord Coordinator Nawal Apura.
Fortunately, the family met the requirements needed for assistance and Nawal was able to work with their landlord to complete the process to allow payment for the rent. The eviction process was stopped, and the family was able to stay in their apartment.
Ahnoria and her mother were so grateful for the help. Thanks to the support of the Human Services teams working together, the family was able to recover from their illness and avoid the issues that come with eviction. Both Ahnoria and her mother returned to work knowing that they would continue to have a secure place to raise the children.
If you, your family, or a friend can benefit from the care and support offered to families with young children through Maricopa County’s Head Start program, please visit Maricopa.gov/HeadStart.