$500,000 grant benefits 7 Tucson nonprofits

$500,000 grant benefits 7 Tucson nonprofits

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Seven Tucson nonprofits have reason to celebrate.

They are sharing a half-million dollar grant from Wells Fargo through its NeighborhoodLIFT program.

The agencies are getting from $25,000 to $100,000 each.

Wells Fargo and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild made the announcement Wednesday.

The grant hits several areas of need, from homelessness to education.

Nonprofits continue to struggle in Tucson as our state lags behind others in recovering from the recession.

The grant beneficiaries provide various services in our community, including food, housing, education and job training.

The Pima Community College Foundation will use its money to help people pay to get their certifications or to get a GED.

It also will provide scholarships for GED recipients who want to continue their education.

"Hopefully, with this we'll be able to help quite a few people to be able to get their GED test or their certification as well because there's a lot of students that go, for example, through the nursing program let's say, but they cannot afford to pay the certification fees. So they cannot really practice in their field of study," says Pima Community College Foundation Development Manager Alma Yubeta.

Our Family Services will use the grant to support young adults and families who are homeless or on the verge of being homeless.

"We have many people who come to us for homeless services, but really, if they could just have a little bit of funding that would allow them to stay where they're at and not become destabilized, it will allow them to stay in place and actually be able to continue without ever entering the much more expensive homeless system," says Our Family Services Executive Director Patti Caldwell.

Old Pueblo Community Services is focusing on getting homeless veterans off the streets and into transitional housing.

"We're going to do the 'housing first' model to get veterans who are homeless and living on the streets into housing rapidly. Historically, to get people into permanent housing, there's been a lot of hurdles, a number of requirements. We're going to offer housing that, as long as people aren't harmful to themselves or others, they can get into the housing immediately, be safe, be well, and then we can work on getting them into permanent housing," says Old Pueblo Community Services CEO Thomas Litwicki.

The Tucson Urban League is working to help people, especially young people, get into the building trades.

"We want to create a pipeline for young people to be able to gain livable wage incomes. So apprenticeship in the construction trades is part of that. So we will be providing a pre-apprenticeship program, and also an opportunity for the young people to have work experience," says Debbi Embry, Tucson Urban League CEO.

The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, the Pima Council on Aging and Tucson Clean and Beautiful - Trees for Tucson are the other recipients.

Rothschild said the grant for food, education and housing will go a long way toward stabilizing neighborhoods.

Wells Fargo provided this list of the beneficiaries:

  • Community Food Bank of Southern AZ: $25,000 to support nutritional health and help Tucson residents overcome hunger and poverty.
  • Pima Council on Aging: $50,000 to support senior housing assistance to help at-risk seniors remain in their own homes for as long as possible.
  • Tucson Clean and Beautiful - Trees for Tucson: $50,000 to support neighborhood beautification and build environmental stewardship to make neighborhoods safer and more livable.
  • Tucson Urban League: $75,000 to support the Career Yes workforce development and education program.
  • Old Pueblo Community Services: $100,000 to support permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans.
  • Our Family Services: $100,000 to support transitional housing for homeless adults who come from backgrounds of severe abuse and neglect.
  • Pima Community College Foundation: $100,000 to support workforce development and education.
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