Welcome to Blistering at the Margins: a unique, collaborative effort to address homelessness in Arizona. In order to raise awareness and inspire empathy around the brutal conditions and dehumanizing effects of chronic homelessness, a program volunteer, Seráh Blain; a state legislator, Mark Cardenas; and a legislative assistant, Scott Berlin; shared time living without shelter in Phoenix during the last week of August and into September. Ms. Blain spent over 20 days unsheltered, with Rep. Cardenas and Mr. Berlin stepping in to take over and finish out the month as Ms. Blain’s health deteriorated. The team raised over $28k in support of the Madison Street Veterans Association (MSVA) women’s section in hopes of preventing the shelter from closing.
Unfortunately, despite our efforts, the women’s section did close due to lack of sustainable funding. But this story is not over. Community organizers, legislators, and caring individuals are working hard to continue raising funds to reopen the women’s section and ensure women veterans in Arizona have access to a supportive, peer-based transitional living program and receive the very best support when facing the possibility of homelessness.
Thank you to everyone who contributed, and especially those who want to do more. We’ll be working with our partners to find more ways to effectively address homelessness and continue speaking out to end it.