Flagstaff Shelter Services has purchased a Flagstaff motel with plans on making it an expanded emergency shelter and supportive housing. The shelter bought the Howard Johnsons Motel at 33-hundred East Route 66 earlier this month for just over six-million dollars. The site will provide 72-thousand square feet, including 58 rooms, and is expected to serve more than a-thousand people annually. The site will eventually transition to provide permanent, supportive housing to help Flagstaff’s shortage of affordable housing. FSS Director Ross Schaefer says “this acquisition fills a critical void in Flagstaff’s housing landscape and allows FSS to better serve the community’s needs.” Arizona Department of Housing Director Tom Simplot says “by converting existing buildings in rural communities to housing, as Flagstaff Shelter Services did in this case with ADOH funding, services get to the people who need them much quicker than by building from the ground up. This is the first of what we anticipate being many successful conversion projects in rural Arizona.” Funding for the purchase came from the Arizona Department of Housing’s access to $40-million in State Recovery Funds allocated through the American Rescue Plan Act. Additional supporting funds came from Forest Highlands Foundations and the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation. The purchase will increase emergency shelter for families, the medically vulnerable and senior citizens experiencing homelessness. FSS care coordinators will be on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week when it opens.
Dave caught up with FSS Director Ross Schaefer about the purchase, which includes the restaurant on the property. Click here to listen: