Verde Valley Homeless Coalition Breaks Ground for Transitional Housing

By Alyssa Smith

The Verde Valley Homeless Coalition broke ground for their new tran­sitional housing develop­ment site on Nov. 22.

This new structure, named the Friendship House, will be located off Main Street in Cottonwood and will consist of six individual bedrooms sharing a communal kitchen and living area.

“We were expecting the groundbreaking a lot sooner,” said Rhonda Bishop, executive director of the VVHC. Construction is expected to be completed by May.

The project stresses the importance of having one’s own space in order to properly transition to permanent housing within society.

“You can’t start on making those changes until you have a safe place to live where you can go in, close your door and be at peace,” said Laura Cox, one of the VVHC’s directors.

The coalition currently has a building with four transitional housing units, an emergency overnight shelter that can house 20 people and a day center.

The state of Arizona recognized that Cottonwood has an underserved population, so VVHC received federal funding for the initial cost of the project, but due to the rising cost of supplies, they are now facing a shortage of funds.

The coalition is currently running a campaign with a goal of $33,000 to finish the Friendship House.

Groundbreaking of Friendship House

4 Verde Valley Homeless Coalition Board President Carol Quasula, left, speaks at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new transitional housing unit on Tuesday, Nov. 22, in Cottonwood. The Friendship House will have six individual bedrooms with a shared kitchen and living space. Construction is expected to be completed by May of 2023.
Daulton Venglar/Larson Newspapers

“When people make a donation to an organiza­tion, they really want to know where it’s going to go, so we’ve listed the things that we’re going to buy with the donations that we receive through the whole campaign,” said Cox.

Who will be selected to live in these units will most likely be determined by whether the person has some source of income, whether through employment, disability or social security.

VVHC is also determining whether there will be a lease or a program fee to stay there. “We’ll want them to contribute because that’s realistic. If you’re moving to permanent housing, you have to start learning to pay,” said Carol Quasula, president of the board of directors.

“I am overwhelmed at the community that came out,” said Quasula of the groundbreaking ceremony. Attendees included representatives from Camp Verde and other parts of the valley, showing the community’s efforts to collectively address the current housing crisis.

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