The global pandemic spurred by the COVID-19 virus outbreak of 2020 has prompted Scottsdale City Council to extend an existing intergovernmental agreement with Maricopa County to ensure vital social services are provided to vulnerable populations.
Scottsdale City Council, at its most recent May meeting at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., approved a six-month extension to the agreement with the Maricopa County Human Services Department, which provides a conduit of vital federal funds for outreach services largely based at Vista Del Camino.
For many local families during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, distribution of nutritious meals at the Vista Del Camino Food Bank, 7700 E. Roosevelt St., in south Scottsdale is a lifeline of paramount proportions in uncertain economic times.
“Through this IGA, the Maricopa County Human Services Department will designate Vista Del Camino as the local Community Action Program administrator, so that Vista may continue to provide CAP funding to Scottsdale-area residents,” said Greg Bestgen, human services director, in a May 19 report to City Council.
“The CAP provides a mechanism that allows for funding from several government sources to reach Scottsdale residents, specifically to address the issues relating to poverty and the prevention of homelessness, with a focus on building self-sufficiency.”
Scottsdale Human Services Manager Kevin McKee is also listed as an author of the May report to City Council.
Community action agencies and funding designations were created by the federal government in 1962 in an effort to combat poverty throughout the United States.
“The City of Scottsdale and the county began working informally to provide CAP funding at Vista Del Camino in 1968, prior to construction of the center in 1973,” the report to City Council states. “The City Council adopted Resolution No. 8267 on April 27, 2010, which established the formal relationship with MCHSD for the operations of the Vista Del Camino CAP and has adopted a series of IGAs and IGA amendments since that time.”
Scottsdale Human Services officials report each identified CAP program provides financial assistance to those eligible households with benefits including:
In all, Vista Del Camino fielded 33,508 requests for outreach services information and 248 households were assisted with rent and/or mortgage assistance totaling $230,969 in fiscal year 2018-19, numbers show.
“Due to delays experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, an additional six-month extension to this contract is needed before introducing a new IGA for consideration later this year,” the report to City Council states. “MCHSD serves as the local [Community Action Agencies] and then contracts with local CAPs such as Vista Del Camino to provide various types of assistance to prevent homelessness and to provide professional case management, information and referrals, and food programs.”
The approved extension of the current IGA between Scottsdale and Maricopa County ensures the CAP function at Vista Del Camino is staffed with three, full-time human services specialists, two part-time human services specialists and one full-time human services center supervisor.
“Vista Del Camino services are citywide services,” the report to City Council states. “The programs receive additional staff and financial support through grants and private funding administered by the Scottsdale Community Partners.”