2006 – Justa Center began under the auspices of the Ecumenical Council of the Homeless, and developed the programs and services after asking homeless seniors what they needed to help their journey back into housing. Rev. Scott Richey was appointed as the Executive Director.
Justa Center implements the Housing-First model. This approach understands that people need basic necessities like food and a place to live before attending to anything less critical, such as getting a job, budgeting properly, or attending to substance use issues.
2010 – Justa Center transitioned to Central United Community Services (CUCS) which operated the Center as one of its community programs. The CUCS was a subgroup of the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) of the United Methodist Church.
2013 and 2014 – Justa Center began a study into the return-to-homelessness of its members who had achieved housing. The study revealed that the housing-first model requires continued care after-housing to prevent a return to homelessness for seniors. William “Oly” Cowles developed the Extended Care program that provides continued supportive services members in housing. Utilizing volunteer Ambassadors to visit members in housing increased first-year housing retention from 25% to over 75%. The Justa Center, Inc. was incorporated as an Arizona non-profit corporation in 2014.
2015 – On December 31, 2014 it entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with CUCS and was granted a Group Ruling Letter to under the IRS 501 (c) (3) status of the GCFA. From that point forward the Justa Center, Inc. had its own Employer Identification Number and has taken responsibility for its own financial reporting to funders and governmental entities. Other changes included Rev. Richey’s re-assignment to a local church, and Barbara Lewkowitz hired as Executive Director.
2018 –Wendy Johnson was hired in June as the Executive Director.