In Flagstaff, the cost of housing is high, but wages are low. Sometimes, even people who have jobs can’t afford a rental deposit and wind up in a shelter.
Flagstaff Shelter Services has been challenged by the coronavirus pandemic because homeless shelters can be potential hotbeds for the virus. The group has had to move the sick into motels, where they can quarantine.
“Our agency is extremely busy, I mean all times of year, specifically with COVID. We’re operating three different hotels right now,” said Ross Altenbaugh, executive director of Flagstaff Shelter Services.
Winter temperatures in Flagstaff make assisting the homeless even more challenging.