Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development is a private, nonprofit agency founded in 1972 by Soroptimist International of Phoenix to provide emergency shelter and services for runaway and homeless youth. The mission of Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development is to provide a safe space for collaborating with youth and young adults in our community who are vulnerable or experiencing homelessness. These safe spaces will allow access to caring relationships, resources, and programs that offer opportunities for young people to develop their individual potential.
Our vision is that every young person is valued, has a safe place to live, and the support necessary to grow and thrive.
The Youth Crisis Shelter, a short-term crisis intervention program for homeless and runaway youth ages 9-18, opened in 1975. This program provided the only emergency shelter for non-system youth in Maricopa County. Tumbleweed’s services expanded in 1980 to include a detention alternative group home for boys and in 1986 independent living for homeless youth was added. We began street outreach services for homeless youth living on the streets in 1990. In 2004 Tumbleweed began developing group home unification services for Homeland Security’s Office of Refugee Resettlement for Unaccompanied Minors. We now have more than a dozen direct service programs that provide a continuum of care for over 3000 homeless, conduct disordered, abused, abandoned, neglected, and at risk youth annually, ages 11-22.
In 2005, Tumbleweed was awarded a contract to be the lead local agency in a national project called Safe Place. National Safe Place is a nationally known organization that provides access to immediate help and supportive resources for young people in crisis through a network of sites sustained by qualified agencies, trained volunteers and businesses.