Local Nonprofit: Community Foundation for Southern Arizona grant essential in vital services for at-risk Arizonans

Article by Rose M. Lopez to the Arizona Daily Star. View original here

Brazilian novelist, Paulo Coelho (“The Alchemist”), once said, “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.”

With the entire globe weathering COVID-19, a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways caused by the coronavirus, we find ourselves navigating uncharted waters while testing our will to cope. The ripple effect of this unprecedented event has greatly impacted each of us and our communities.

Intermountain Centers and its affiliates provide health and human services daily to nearly 16,000 of Arizona’s at-risk individuals in the form of outpatient networks, educational contexts, group and foster homes and affordable housing.

As a front-line provider of health and human services, we have been forced to pivot with regard to how we provide outpatient behavioral health and primary care, housing services, residential and foster care, and specialized educational services.

Today our staff is providing most services via telehealth and telephonic, with exception of group home care and those children and adults who continue to need face-to-face services within one of our clinics or in the home.

The pivot from traditional delivery of vital services requires community-based financial support as well as programmatic partnerships with other community nonprofits to ensure we meet the continued and growing needs of our communities.

A beacon to help guide local nonprofits through this storm has been the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) and their COVID-19 Community Support Fund and Community Response Grants. In just three weeks, CFSA has awarded $588,700 in response grants to support our vital nonprofit partners in Pima and Santa Cruz counties.

In addition, these grants allow nonprofits that provide specialized services, (i.e., domestic violence services), to continue during a time of need.

As a recipient of a COVID-19 Community Response Grant, the staff and board members of Intermountain are very appreciative of the assistance. Thanking Clint Mabie and his staff seems insufficient, we as a community must recognize and support CFSA’s impact and its role. CFSA did not hesitate in playing their community role, and more importantly, they were efficient in their process. We must continue to support the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.

Since 1980, CFSA has been a trusted philanthropic partner helping individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits work together to create a stronger community.

These funding partnerships allow CFSA to improve the quality of life throughout Southern Arizona by stewarding donor and community resources, measurably affecting change.

The Community Foundation of Southern Arizona serves communities south of the Gila River. CFSA primarily serves Pima and Santa Cruz counties and secondarily serves Cochise, Graham, Greenlee and Yuma counties.

In order to strengthen our community, we need to work together to support those organizations fighting to make positive changes. As we look toward our future, unsure of what it holds, it is assuring to know there are community champions, like CFSA, who are taking the lead.

Rose M. Lopez, MBA, is president and CEO of Intermountain Centers.