Our Story

chunky mat

When HOMELESS MATters began its ministry in January 2017, our goal was to make sleeping mats out of crocheted plastic bags for the homeless. We quickly learned that there was also a need for personal items. We, therefore, began creating Compassion Bags – or as we like to call them “Bags of Compassion” – to also serve the daily needs of those living on the streets.

While distributing our sleeping mats and bags of compassion directly to the homeless on the streets, we realized that there were, of course, different phases in the lives of many of the homeless people. Some would continue to live on the streets, while others needed help transitioning off the streets into some form of accommodation. HOMELESS MATters wanted to help, and this led to us beginning to form relationships with local businesses, retail and wholesale companies, corporate entities, and other organizations, charitable or otherwise, which could donate items needed by those making that transition as well as items that more broadly catered to the category of “anyone in need.”

In fact, what has grown out of that is, essentially, a “charitable exchange service” where HOMELESS MATters and other charitable organizations will receive donations of items and then ensure that items that are not specifically needed by HOMELESS MATters are made available to meet the needs of other charitable organizations and those in need that they serve.

HOMELESS MATters thus became a ministry not only to those living on the streets but also to all of our sisters and brothers in any kind of need. If we can’t help directly with required items, services, or advice, we will do everything we can to try to get the problem solved. We, therefore, cooperate with other charitable organizations in the exchange and supply of donated items to better ensure that needs are met over the whole spectrum of homelessness and misfortune. This includes donated items we might have received that are not directly needed for our Bags of Compassion. Historically such items have included new beds, mattresses, sheets, and clothing. We pass these items on to the appropriate charitable organization that focuses on supplying such items to those in need and they do the same for us with items that can be included in our Bags of Compassion. This is a great example of a true “Co-operative” to meet the needs of those less fortunate in the greater Phoenix area, and sometimes, when needed, surrounding States.

HOMELESS MATters is helped in its mission by many other organizations and their tireless and caring volunteers. Currently, this includes Commercial Plus, LLC, Bombas, Bashas’, Gift-in-Kind, City of Phoenix, American Family Warehouse, Hilton Hotel, Embassy Hotel, Child Help, Homeless Enhancement Lift Partnership, Habitat for Humanity, St. Patrick Catholic Community, The Reborn Church, Casa De Cristo Lutheran. Scottsdale, The Red Mountain LDS Church Mesa, Salt River Stake LDS, Mesa, VFW post 7507 in Fountain Hills, American Legion District 11, Surprise, Fountain View Village Independent Living, Cloud Street Gathering, Valor Veterans Community, Knights of Columbus, Scottsdale, Four Peaks Women’s Club, CityServe, and Prismic Corporation, as well as the late Kathryn Anderson for her wonderful photographs and AppNet New Media Studio for the production and hosting of this website – to name but a few. We look forward to welcoming even more in the future … so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are able to provide assistance of any kind.

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Our Founder

In Oct. 2019 Leona Voltz, the founder of HOMELESS MATters, was honored by ABC channel 15 as “Hero” of the month.