AAUW’s February Meeting Focuses on the City of Chandler’s Homeless Programs

Misty Gustafson and her team provide a variety of critical services to Chandler’s homeless population. The team includes (front row, left to right) Quiana Thorvund, Misty Gustafson, Mindy Mikus, and Ashley Halterman and (back row, left to right) Blair Willard, Troy Wahlert, Bryan Kreskow, and Steven Penrod.

AAUW Southeast Valley Branch (SEV) will host Misty Gustafson, Homeless Programs Supervisor for the City of Chandler/Neighborhood Resources, as its speaker during its Feb. 19 meeting, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Sun Lakes United Methodist Church on Riggs Road.

Ms. Gustafson will speak about her program’s direct services. These include Chandler Connect, Operation Open Door, Support Court, and Housing Stability. Each is briefly described below.

1. Chandler Connect is a homeless outreach program where Ms. Gustafson’s team is in the community looking for people experiencing homelessness and offering them a variety of services.

2. Operation Open Door non-congregate shelter option is for families, elderly, and vulnerable clients with the ultimate goal of housing or family shelter.

3. Support Court is a specialty court program (like veterans and mental health court) to offer services through the court system for charges related to homelessness.

4. Housing Stability involves a team of three social workers who are assisting with locating units, stabilizing clients once they are in housing, and coaching self-sufficiency and building natural support systems.

AAUW Southeast Valley Branch has a special interest in these issues and the programs, because its members live and are invested in the City of Chandler, as well as in Gilbert and Sun Lakes.

AAUW is a diverse group that encourages participation by those who wish to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, philanthropy, and research. It also supports education and legislation impacting girls and women.

Last year the organization awarded 10 $1,000 scholarships to deserving women pursuing careers in a variety of STEM-related fields that include Exercise Science, Data Analytics, Nursing and Applied Human Behavior, Computer Science, Nutritional Science, Biological Studies, and Mortuary Science.

Our local branch of AAUW was chartered in 1989. AAUW is a national organization open to all graduates holding an associate or equivalent, baccalaureate, or higher degree from a qualified educational institution. There are more than 170,000 members across 1,000 local branches.

If you are looking for a way to make a difference, meet other accomplished and interesting women, and have fun together, contact us at [email protected] and be a part of change in the making!