Collage of Somos Uno Grantees - children and adults in masks working and learning during COVID-19

We Are One | Somos Uno Nonprofit Continuity Grants: Round Three Recipients

In partnership with the City of Tucson’s Mayor and Council, CFSA is pleased to announce the third round of We Are One | Somos Uno Nonprofit Continuity Grant recipients.  In this round, $350,141 in Federal CARES Act funding was awarded to twenty nonprofit organizations to support the continued provision of essential services to vulnerable members of the Tucson community during the pandemic.

We Are One | Somos Uno Nonprofit Continuity Grant Recipients

Exodus Community Services Inc. exists for the sole purpose of providing men and women in recovery from drugs and alcohol with safe, drug and alcohol free, twelve-step oriented environments in an effort to provide each client with the care and structure necessary to develop and learn the necessary life skills essential for transition to independent living

Moses Gonzalez, CEO of Exodus Community Services, shared, “Many of our residents have to pay court fines, child support or other obligations that prevent them from going into an inpatient rehab, so they chose to live with Exodus because we promote financial responsibility for our residents to honor their obligations and become responsible.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson provides young people in need with a clear path to reach their full potential and pursue their dreams. Since the pandemic began, there has been an increased need in services from BGCT, leading to an increase in expenses. This funding will go towards bridging that gap to allow BGCT continue serving the youth who need them most.

Tonya Strozier, Principal of Holladay Magnet Elementary School and a partner of BGCT, discussed, “The virtual learning space provided by the Club has been a lifesaver. It is a perfect example of partnership between schools and community organizations. Together we were able to fulfill the needs of our families and ensure that students are learning in a safe and loving environment.”

Now more than ever, St. Luke’s Home must take extra precautions to keep their at-risk residents safe while providing assisted-living for people aged 55 and older. These funds will continue to ensure elders are kept safe from the pandemic through additional cleaning supplies, stringent protocols, and compassionate care.

Marie Reyna, Development Director for St. Luke’s Home, shared the impact elders have on our communities and the importance of providing them with excellent care. Reyna stated, “Thank you for remembering the Elders who have shared our community with wisdom, grace, and love. “

Literacy Connects serves the community by connecting people of all ages to a world of opportunity through literacy and creative expression. During the pandemic, Literacy Connects pivoted to virtual services while incurring technology costs. They also experienced a loss of revenue due to event cancellations, and will use these funds to make up part of the revenue gap.

Gina Compitello, Marketing Communications Manager for Literacy Connects, relayed this quote from a client, “Thank you for doing your best to help us at all times, not only in these times of crisis. The attention that Literacy Connects and its amazing volunteers are giving each and every one of us is truly a light in all of this uncertainty and difficulty. A million thanks for your help and support. We will not give up.”

Second Street Children’s School (SSCS) provides a rich and stimulating learning experience for young children, individualized to meet the needs of every child with a strong emphasis on outdoor play and the arts, social and emotional development and community.

Through this funding, SSCS will continue to prioritize social-emotional development and community for the young children they serve. Jenny Douglas and Jeri Goldblatt, SSCS’s Administrative Team, shared, “We believe that children need a strong community where they feel that they belong and are accepted unconditionally. In addition to a supportive family, safety, and caring teachers, we believe children need role models who will help them to develop emotional intelligence and a sense of social responsibility.

St. Mark’s Preschool and Kindergarten is working to provide a safe learning environment for their students during COVID-19. This has required staff training, PPE for teachers, and restructuring classrooms for social distancing.

April Turner, Director of St. Mark’s, stated, “Our staff, however, remain resilient and dedicated to providing the best care and education for Tucson’s children. Support from CFSA ensures we can continue to provide that.”

Imago Dei Middle School has stepped up to meet the challenges of the pandemic by offering online teaching, a twice-weekly curbside Family Pantry, materials and laptops for students, and donations to healthcare workers through their THREAD refugee mask-sewing project.

Renee Downing, Development Officer for Imago Dei, discussed, “The wider IDMS family has been severely impacted by the crisis in myriad ways, and we could not be more grateful to CFSA and the City of Tucson’s Mayor and Council’s Somos Uno grant for its responsiveness, compassion, and expertise. On behalf of our whole school community – Thank You!”

Chicanos Por La Causa Southern Arizona (CPLC) works to help individuals and families achieve self-sufficiency by providing accessible healthcare; affordable housing; a quality education; access to meaningful work; and political representation.

President of CPLC Southern Arizona, Lydia Aranda, shared, “We remain dedicated to our youth and ensuring they complete their studies and we have pivoted our services to help parents, siblings, and family members as they launch into new careers, discover new training opportunities, and prepare for the new economy.”

Aranda further emphasized, “This, more than in any other time, is when we need to unify Southern Arizona communities, families and leaders around solutions for the current set of challenges and towards long-term, sustainable realignment of workforce success for our future generations.”

Homicide Survivors, Inc. offers crisis and long-term emotional support and advocacy to the surviving families and friends of all murder victims. They have shifted their services to meet the challenges of COVID-19, such as turning their National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims event into a drive-in memorial event for safety.

Alexandra Gastelum, Development Associate & Victim Advocate, shared, “We quickly adapted our monthly support groups, courtroom advocacy program, and annual memorial events to comply with safety measures while ensuring that survivors continue to be provided critical services following the homicide of a loved one.” 

JobPath, Inc. works to improve the economic status of underserved adults, by removing barriers to educational achievement, so that they can lead healthier and more prosperous lives. During the pandemic, nearly 40% of JobPath students lost jobs or faced reduced hours, shared Christine Hill, Director of Development.

Hill recognized the impact of this funding on JobPath by sharing, “To help JobPath students complete their degree or certificate programs, we’ve had to increase the financial support we provide so students can stay in school and care for their families. We are incredibly grateful to be a recipient of Somos Uno funding!”