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Fall 2010

In This Issue: Myers Neighborhood Wins CCNR Service Grant Compass Behavioral Health and SPANA win CCNR Grant to Provide Services LIFT—Homeless Teen Program begins new school year Miracle Manor Survives

A Letter From our President and CEO Anthony Simms

Myers Neighborhood Why would a nonprofit agency allow a person or group of people to choose the services they want to receive? Can a nonprofit assume that people know what they need in order to reach their personal or collective goals, or should a nonprofit use a strict prescriptive method for serving clients? Unlike most for-profit organizations that offer a variety of products or services to its customers, nonprofits typically deliver one or two services. Often, these services are based on a cookiecutter method that meets general needs as opposed to customized services that meet targeted needs within a person’s life. Why does this happen? Because in the nonprofit sector, funds are limited and resources are few so most nonprofits make the best use of limited assets. That is why collaboration is so important—and even more important is the process of creating an inclusive environment where the client (person being served) has a voice in what services they will receive. Ultimately, the client is responsible for their own empowerment therefore, they must be in a position to determine their outcome based on their choices. Empowerment is the act of giving power or authority to someone or something; to authorize, especially by legal or official means. Conversely, disempowerment is the act of depriving someone or something of power and/or influence. Therefore, the act of empowerment or disempowerment is based on the opportunity to access needed resources and training on how to effectively utilize them. Youth, families, and neighborhoods often experience either empowerment or disempowerment based on the amount of resources directly or indirectly available to them. Those being served don’t become empowered because of a program, but true empowerment occurs when clients can do for themselves, what a program has taught them to do. Myers neighborhood is a great example of people working toward increasing their power by choosing what they want. This neighborhood,


along with being a part of the 29th Street Weed & Seed Coalition, has taken proactive steps to further empower themselves through applying for and winning the “Connecting Community Needs with Resources” grant. This grant is based on a neighborhood choosing whether they want to: 1) reduce and prevent crime, 2) increase healthy lifestyles, 3) increase educational assistance, or 4) increase job skills and employment, Myers neighborhood chose to decrease and prevent crime. In doing so, they choose to implement creative expression training and neighborhood enrichment programs in both the Myer-Ganoung Elementary school and the neighborhood. This neighborhood has chosen to empower their children through after-school programs that focus on empowerment. Why collaborate? Because through collaboration, 1) costs go down, 2) production goes up (more gets done), 3) output increases (more people get served), and 4) creativity increases. Collaborative partnerships share the load. The team is not simply one nonprofit trying to fix the problem, but includes: neighborhood residents, nonprofits, parents, youth, families, schools, government, and businesses all working together to increase the empowerment of the neighborhood. Everyone wins through collaboration. In partnership with Myers Neighborhood Association and Myers-Ganoung Elementary School, Connecting Communities Foundation and YES Network have mobilized into the school 2 nonprofit agencies that provide Creative Expression programs. These programs decrease the impacts of early initiation of drug use, rebelliousness, and anti-social behavior. Each program operates after school for a minimum of 2-3 hours per week for ten to twelve weeks and will serve approximately 40-youth ages 6 - 11. Youth will explore their creativity through art, theater and experiential activities. This process will give students knowledge and understanding of the arts, increases selfesteem, provides the means for self-expression, and increase confidence and communication skills.

On the cover: United Way’s Days of Caring volunteers painting the portable classrooms at Myers-Ganoung Elementary School on September 11, 2010.

A Message From the President

Myers Neighborhood Focus Myers Neighborhood Story is About Effort and Hope Jacks BBQ Has Staying Power Tale of Two Grandmothers Myers Neighborhood Association Newsletter

Regular Features Why Partnerning and Collaboration Work Neighborhood Enrichment: Miracle Manor Survives Creative Expression: S.P.A.N.A & Compass Behavioral Health C.A.S.T. Programs Educational Success: L.I.F.T—Homeless Teen Project

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Community Development Specialist Milini Simms


Myers Neighborhood Story is

Effort And Hope


by Anne Dalton

Pat Martin moved into the Myers neighborhood in 1968 with her husband and four children. It was a quiet place that felt safe. One of the first developments in the newly annexed plot extending the city limits beyond Alvernon Road, it was just east of the new El Con Mall. It was a well-kept middle-class neighborhood of one square mile with small, double brick homes built in the 1950’s. The population in Tucson was 200,000, according to the University of Arizona's Planning Department. Myers Neighborhood is bounded by Swan Road on the west, 22nd Street on the north, Craycroft Road on the east and Golf Links Road on the south. Twenty-second Street is a busy thoroughfare of small shops like Pawn & Jewelry, the Thrift shop (“Only you know it's used!”) On Craycroft Road, cars buzz up and down this business corridor with gas stations and apartment complexes displaying bargain prices. The streets are clean and full of mom-and-pop businesses hanging on while the economy dips and turns. Small one-story chains like Days Inn and Dunkin’ Donuts blend in. Golf Links Road bordering the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is lined with palo verde trees along the islands, a wash with a walking trail on the north side and a vista of mountains poking up through white clouds and broad blue sky. By 1990, the neighborhood included 4,900 residents. It was predominantly white with 25 percent of the residents with an Hispanic origin. Approximately 28 percent were less than 18 years old and the percentage of residents over 64 were half of 4

Myers Neighborhood is bounded by Swan Road on the west, 22nd Street on the north, Craycroft Road on the east and Golf Links Road on the south.

the elderly population city-wide. Pat remembers the day ground was broken for the first apartment complex on 29th street. It was ten years later. A friend of hers predicted the neighborhood was about to go downhill. With the entry of the apartments, a more transient population arrived along with absentee owners. Drug dealing, prostitution and violence followed. Later, she and her friend Cynthia Miles, became concerned

about the 51 liquor stores in a 7.2 mile area in and around the neighborhood. Martin, a chipper lady in a red flowered blouse and white shorts, recalls the challenges they faced. Sometimes they would succeed in blocking another liquor store opening, sometimes not. But they made visits to each store owner and laid out what the neighborhood expected of them such as checking ID's carefully prior to making a sale. They made frequent visits to the Liquor Board. "We realized that if we wanted to win, we couldn’t look like a

Myers Neighborhood Feature bunch of elderly ladies complaining, she said. “We just kept going and we kept smiling . We were very convincing.” They made a three-by-twelve-foot map of Myers Neighborhood with each type of facility color-coded. They marked the pathways the children used to walk to school and showed the paths going by the liquor stores. They read off the names, ages and charges of each child arrested for juvenile drinking provided by the Police Department. Another neighbor, Mark Mayer, got unsightly billboards removed from the area. The apartment complexes were located on the periphery of the neighborhood. By 1999, they comprised 63 per cent of all household units in the area. The internal part of Myers was relatively peaceful. To address the apartment complex problem, the police began a program called Crime Free MultiHousing funded by the Weed & Seed program. It asked apartment managers to receive training on how to increase the safety of their complexes. After two years of persistent promotion, the first property manager signed on. Today, most belong. Now, most complexes are fenced in to discourage drivethrough traffic, thorough background checks are done prior to renting an apartment. Complex managers share information on evicted tenants. Although there is still crime, these efforts help. Using federal Weed and Seed funding, the neighbors were educated on how to report crimes, and in 1998, rates began to decline. Between 2001 and 2007, violent crime decreased by 44 percent. Tammy Thomas, community resource officer, is available to all of midtown's neighborhood associations and was a patrol officer for 14 years in the area. She sees a lot of gang activity in the area with narcotics and violence. "Neighbors will call in suspicious activities. They are our eyes and ears," she said. Becky Noel, the community service officer for the area, sees advantages to the Crime Free Multi-Housing program. Tenants are asked to sign a crime-free addendum to their leases. If that person brings criminal activity to the property, the landlord can give him a 24-hour eviction notice right there. "It helps us a lot because we can find out the players in the area. If they move in with a friend in another complex and then cause trouble there too, the friend can get evicted as well," Noel said. Vicki Mesimer repreBeyond the efforts of individual neighbors, sents the new generaMyers had yet to have its own Neighborhood tion of homeowners to Association. pick up the torch in In 1997, Christmas in the 90's and early April Rebuilding Together, a national non2000's. She exudes profit working to pregood cheer and hope serve affordable homeownership and and seems to have an revitalize communiendless pool of energy. ties, identified Myers as an at-risk neighborhood due to its high crime rates, low educational levels and low employment. It asked the residents to work with them by

forming a neighborhood association with a steering committee. Neighbors took to the streets with flyers and knocked on every door to rally people to attend the kick-off meeting. Sixty-four homes were identified as in need of repair and updating. Xmas in April managed to complete 36 of these with the help of do-

nations and volunteer hours from Raytheon, Davis-Monthan Air-Force Base and the city. “It was the most exciting thing!” Martin said. “If Christmas in April hadn’t come, I don’t think we would have organized. That was the spark.” Martin became the first president of the Myers Neighborhood Association. John and Debbie Dowdall moved to Myers neighborhood in 1994. John, a painting contractor, is a small man with glasses and a graying mustache who leans forward, knees to elbows, thinking as he talks about his years in the neighborhood with his family. He got involved When Xmas in April efforts began. He realized there were many senior citizens and handicapped residents unable to fix up their own homes. After the first successful drive, he decided the association could continue Xmas in April on its own. He leads the effort and they do two houses each year. “It’s very rewarding to work on these houses,” Dowdall, MNA president this year, said.“Their homes are transformed. It’s dramatic." In 1999, the MNA partnered with the University of Arizona Planning Department to write a Residential Plan and developed long-term goals for the association. The plan helped residents identify eight goals for the neighborhood which are used as a constant reference to this day. “We still work on the same eight. Each year, we find more to do in those areas,” Mary Dryden, a resident since 1998 and the neighborhood historian, said. This plan provided a multitude of supports for schools, health services and others touching on every aspect of the lives of its residents. In 2009, at her son’s urging, Martin moved to a quiet townhouse in another neighborhood. Vicki Mesimerrepresents the new generation of homeowners to pick up the torch in the 90's and early 2000's. She exudes good cheer and hope and seems to have an endless pool of cont. pg 13 5

Myers Neighborhood Feature

Jack's Bar-B-Que Has Staying Power By Ann Dalton

Jack's Bar-B-Que at 5250 E 22nd Street in the Myers neighborhood has a low profile and a proud heritage. Zagat's Travel Guides, recognized Jack's as the Best Barbeque Meal Deal in The Nation in 1998. The small restaurant won "Best of Tucson" for 10 years running in the Bar-B-Que department. Jack's has been at its current location for 43 years. The original owners were an African-American couple, Jack and Laura Banks. Laura Banks was the principal of the Cavett Elementary school in the Myers neighborhood and, among many other accolades, the first African-American Assistant Superintendent of Tucson Unified School District. Many Myers residents grew up eating at Jack’s. “Half the fun of working here is listening to all the stories from adults who attended Laura Bank’s school as kids,” Robert Castle, manager, said. Castle, originally from Denver, Colorado, came from the clothing retail business. He found the shift to the food industry an easy one. “It’s all sales,” he said. Seventy-five percent of the customers are from the neighborhood. He would like to broaden the range of loyal customers and is seeing a good response from advertising efforts lately. “People think of crossing town as a really long trip,” he said. “I hope to get them over that notion.” The current owners, Steve, Larry and Greg Boccardo, brothers, kept the original recipes just as they were. Castle describes 6

the flavors as “a Kansas City influence with an Arizona twist.” The meat is cooked slowly over mesquite or hickory wood with the tomato-based but slightly spicy sauce served on the side. Sweet potato pie and peach cobbler are made on site. The pie is dense and rich and offers a biting blend of cinnamon and ginger and just enough sweetness to encourage another bite. The pork bar-b-que sandwich special for $5.50 is thick and tender, doused with a just-a-lick-of-fire red sauce on a hamburger bun with coleslaw on the side. It goes all too quickly. The décor is what you would expect from a real BBQ stand. A clay tile floor, Formica counters and tile-top tables with iron legs. Castle makes a point of buying every ingredient he can from local producers, particularly the meat. He and the owners believe in

investing in local businesses. A menu found in an old automobile is framed and is displayed on the wall. The difference in prices from the 1950's when the restaurant opened and today illustrates clearly time has surely passed, but some things, fortunately, do stay the same. Jack's Web site (

Myers Neighborhood Feature

Myers-Ganoung Elementary School Has A New Persona By Ann Dalton

It’s two o’clock at Myers-Ganoung Elementary School at 5000 E. Andrew St. in Myers neighborhood and her office is filled with students waving yellow-colored papers in the air.

There are currently 100 out of 550 students in the after-school program. McIntyre plans to double that number this year. She is excited about the after-school programs Connecting Commu-

Julie McIntyre is determined to catch students doing something good. McIntyre is busy on the phone calling parents of the ticket recipients. "Hello, Mrs.D. I’m just calling to tell you your son, Matthew got a Golden Ticket today for being kind and considerate to another student. Do you know what he did?” Matthew stands next to her, beaming. None of McIntyre’s friends or colleagues could understand why a teacher

with 22 years of experience and a good reputation would want to apply for the principal’s job at this school. It had a narrow time frame in which to improve grades or face restructuring by the state. “I have personal roots here," McIntyre explains. Her children's grand parents lived on 25th Street and were close enough to visit often. Their father, a Tucson native, came from the Myers neighborhood. “It’s one of the few grassroots neighborhoods in Tucson,” she said. “Diversity has blossomed here.” By “grassroots” she means the residents have pride in their community and believe in giving back. She works closely with neighborhood organizers. "We are an interdependent partnership," she said. While growing up, her father moved the family from North Carolina to live in Mexico. He had a passion for the Hispanic culture, and was bilingual. They eventually settled in Tucson. McIntyre likes a challenge. Of the poor grades typical of the students there, McIntyre acknowledges that 73.5 percent are of Hispanic origin, 50 percent of which are still learning English. Seven and a half percent are African American, 11.8 percent Anglo and the rest a variety.She knows that at home, the children seldom have a quiet area in which to study, a desk to work on or internet access. “If the kids don’t have what they need to study at home, we have to bring

nities Foundation is funding and YES Network will help to coordinate. It will take place on the school grounds and add to the afterschool programs. “This gives me an open door for kids who might fall through the cracks," she said. The programs will help students develop a voice of their own and express themselves artistically. McIntyre is empathetic with the parents' situations. There are many parents in prison or with prison histories and many single parent homes. “I think the families are doing the best they can do. When you work three jobs and you don’t know where the next meal is coming from, homework is not a priority,” she said. McIntyre is educating the parents along with the students. When parents take their children out of school early, she meets them on the front walk and shows them grades. She points out the child needs to stay in school. "Every parent wants their kid to learn. Sometimes, they don't realize that what they're doing is a barrier to learning," she said. “Every student can be a good student. It just takes good teachers,” she said. McIntyre is determined to grow an excellent staff and says it takes candid conversations, tools and support. “I’m not going to let a bad teacher stand between a student and his dream. I have no problem saying that.” She goes out of her way to be a positive, encouraging presence to the students. McIntyre walks around the school grounds often during recess. Students spot her easily because she holds a black umbrella with Mickey Mouse on it. Looking back on her first days in school, she recalls she was in for a surprise. When she applied for the principal's job, she had not actually been inside the school for years. She said she was shocked when she finally saw it. The walls were dull colors. The tile was old. Desks, supplies and décor looked like something from a previous century. It was a dreary environment that dulled rather than inspired young minds. Her goal became to provide a quiet, pleasant and safe environment in which to learn. The refurbished hallways are now tiled with the school colors, red

Already a month into the new school year and there have been no reports of profanity, bullying or other forms of disruptive behavior. cont. pg . 10


Myers Neighborhood Feature:

Tale Of Two Grandmothers By Anne Dalton

Karen Hough lives with her mother, Bobby, 13 year old grandadopt them. daughter, Gabby and until recently, her 18 year old grandson, Karen, still mourning the loss of her 26 year old son killed by a Trey. Karen, 63, a survivor of polio and six surgeries on neck, drunk driver, agreed. Bobby, Fran's mother, moved in with back and feet, sits on the bed in her home surrounded by her seven years ago for company. After an extended court books and clutter, watching a wide screen TV. Due to work battle that drained their savings, the babies came home to accidents, she now receives a disability check. She wishes she live with them. could work again as she did earlier as an office manager or When the boy, Trey, developed bi-polar disorder in his teen waitress. The days pass slowly in spite of her hobbies. years, their lives together were turned upside down. Curtis Her blonde-gray hair is fixed on top of her and Karen clashed over whether to be leniKaren’s two youngest head in a lose band. She exudes an air of ent or hard on Trey as he bullied, stole and daughters, twins, each tore doors off hinges. Medication helped regret. Her granddaughter, Gabby is now 13. She is a quiet girl in a pink t-shirt and reclines became involved in drugs tone down his symptoms, but he didn't take alongside her grandmother doing homework. it consistently. and had children out of Curtis and Karen looked hard for several Tazzy, a black Chihuahua, snuggles in the wedlock. Karen could see months for help in dealing with their grandcrook of Hough's arm and Karen's mother, Bobby, sits in a chair on the side, smoking a the 13 and 18 month-old son. His three problems of bi-polar disorcigarette. der, attention deficit and hyperactivity disbabies weren’t getting Karen shakes her head slowly as she recounts order and deafness put him in a category of food and clean clothing. people for whom few services existed in the last few days. “Trey’s moved out, thank goodness,” she said. Pima County. Frustrated, they gave up and Karen’s two youngest daughters, twins, each just tried to hang on. became involved in drugs and had children out of wedlock. The family lives in a prison of sorts. Karen could see the 13 and 18 month-old babies weren’t get“I had the locks changed. I’ve bars on the windows, so hopeting food and clean clothing. Curtis, her husband at the time, fully, he can’t get in. He’ll be mad when he comes back.” who had never had the chance to be a father, urged her to Mean and intimidating at home, he was pleasant to those 8

...the 2000 census indicated that within Tucson, 8,500 grandparents were raising grandchildren. Another 15 percent of non-parent relatives are doing the same. outside. It seemed Trey focused the worst of his rage on Hough's mother. “People thought we had the problem. They wouldn’t believe us when we described his behavior,” Hough said. “It’s like a needle in a haystack,” Gabby added softly. “It’s like the needle’s the good and the rest is bad.” After a final conflict, Curtis moved out. The divorce from the 21-year marriage was finalized in June. Trey moved in with a friend who is also deaf and Hough sends him his share of an SSDI check each month. In spite of being bright, he progressed no further than the 10th grade in school due to lack of attendance, his mother said. Karen lives across the street from her neighbor, Joanne Glover who acquired guardianship of her grandchild for similar reasons. Their granddaughters are friends. One of Glover’s son’s adopted three of his sister’s sons. The daughter has now had a seventh child but is off drugs and doing better, so was allowed to keep it. Glover, 75, is on a fixed income and receives Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds from Department of Economic Security. She complains that her granddaughter, Aalaha is “thirteen going on twenty,” but the home environment is orderly and quiet. The Hough and Glover households are not unusual in Pima County. Laurie Melrood, director of the Kinship Adoption Resource Education Family Center at 4710 East 29th Street in Myers neighborhood , said the 2000 census indicated that within Tucson, 8,500 grandparents were raising grandchildren. Another 15 percent of non-parent relatives are doing the same.

The KARE Center holds support groups for grandparents raising grandchildren through guardianship each Tuesday morning. There are also some evening hours and Spanish-speaking support groups are available. "The support group members are very welcoming to guests and enjoy talking about the group," Melrood said. The facility offers many services for grandparents including those with guardianships and adoptions. Glover said she consulted with staff several times prior to gaining guardianship of her grandchild. It was helpful. Hough was aware of the building, but did not realize it offered services for people in her situation. If someone is raising a grandchild and struggling financially or in any other way, they can call for an intake interview with a case manager 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by dialing (520) 323-4476. Web page:


Miracle Manor cont. pg. 13 of employment. It all depends on the commitment of the residents and access to resources, planning and persistence," Anthony Simms, CEO of Connecting Communities Foundation, said. Miracle Manor and its partners seem to have what it takes. For more information, contact Marsha and Jim Quinn at: (520)4653605. Myers-Ganoung cont. pg. 9 and white for the Mighty Mustangs, the school mascot.On the wall are post-

ers displaying those qualifying for the “Cool to Be Kind” awards and students in caps and gowns as "future college graduates." The positive visioning and reinforcement seems to be working. Already a month into the new school year and there have been no reports of profanity, bullying or other forms of disruptive behavior. The classrooms are now outfitted with state-of-the art teaching equipment. There are computer labs for all ages. A banner reads, “Where will the internet take you today?” Teachers have digital cameras. Classes will get camcorders this year and make their own movies for a film festival at the end of the year. “I’m getting them away from boring old textbooks and giving them hands-on projects to do.” McIntyre cut six staff positions in order to pay for the upgrades. "I saw teachers aides assigned to classes with only 15 students. What was the point of that?" she said. McIntyre's mantra is "You set goals and you get goals." She has a plethora of incentives for those who try. Sidewalk chalk parties. Bubble-blowing parties. Students get to play kickball with the principal. The cost is minimal, but the impact, as they say, is priceless.

Kid Safety Fingerprinting Raffle Food Face Painting Games Jumping Castles Balloons Cakewalk Entertainment Tour the Freedom Park Sponsored By: The 29th Street Coalition Weed & Seed Tucson Police Department Ward V Council Office Pima County Supervisor District 2 Tucson Parks and Recreation Alvernon Heights Neighborhood Association Julia Keen Neighborhood Association Myers Neighborhood Association Naylor Neighborhood Association Roberts Neighborhood Association 29th Street Corridor Communities Chapman Automotive Thoroughbred Nissan Wienerschnitzel Our Family Services PAXIS Institute Arizonans for Gun Safety

5:30PM – 7:30PM FREEDOM PARK 5000 E. 29TH ST.

Bring 2 Non-Perishable food items for theCommunity Food Bank and receive an extra raffle ticket. Bring a baked good for the cake walk Bring a chair to watch the entertainment

If you require an accommodation or materials in accessible format or require a foreign language interpreter or materials in a language other than English for this event, call Pat Richter at 8377412 at least 5 business days in advance.

FCA of Southern Arizona 633 N. 2nd Ave. Tucson, AZ 85705

The FCA Vision To see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of athletes and coaches.

The FCA Mission

To present to athletes and coaches and all whom they influence the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church

The FCA Values

Our relationships will demonstrate steadfast commitment to Jesus Christ and His Word through Integrity, Serving, Teamwork and Excellence.



MYERS NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION “Creating A Family Neighborhood By Helping Each Other” Fall Newsletter

The United Way Days of Caring (pic on front cover) went very well. There were 98 volunteers that painted the portable classrooms and did yard work at Myers-Ganoung Elementary School. Volunteers also cleaned up graffiti. A big thank you to all of the hard working and kind people who showed up for this event on September 11.

Upcoming Events: Spring House Project—If you know of an elderly person who needs help with yard clean up and minor home repairs, please nominate them for the spring house clean up project. Please contact the Myers Neighborhood Association if you know of a house that needs attention. The 29th Street Community Action Network (CAN) needs people to make friendly phone calls, provide transportation and do in home visits and light food preperation to other community members who are elderly or disabled. Elections are coming up—please nominate a candidate by October for volunteer Board Members for the Myers Neighborhood Association as well as the 29th Street Coalition. Voting will be in November and the new board will take office in January 2011.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the Myers Neighborhood Holiday Potluck Getogether and Singalong on December, 7th 2010. Save the date! For questions regarding any event please contact Vickie Mesimier at or Mary Dryden at 11


Partnering Collaboration and


By Anne Dalton

As the Tucson population grows, and more people inhabit each square mile, their histories diverge. Different national origins, different socio-economic backgrounds, different needs, different ways of getting, expand. Increased contact is often guided by suspicion and defensiveness rather than mutual understanding or common goals as they might have been in simpler times. As the articles in this magazine describe the amazing efforts that the Myers neighborhood residents make to develop a supportive community, there are many examples of simple partnerships where groups came together to make a shortterm project work. The strong impact of long-term collaborations such as the work between University of Arizona Planning Department and the Myers Neighborhood Association in the Myers Neighborhood Resource Plan are also here. Collaboration means partners having a long-term common vision for how they want things to be in the future. They share resources. They share the work. They share the risks and the credit for the results. Relying on each other and staying the course makes all the difference. Social problems such as crime, lack of access to health care and unemployment add to the rub of everyday life. Navigating the many paths to acquire what is needed for a quality life is complicated. Government services and laws change and seem to become confusing and untouchable. The younger generation grows up with lost innocence and adults feel themselves vulnerable against constant waves of change. 12

As Vicki Mesimer, chair of the 29th Street Coalition said, "I'd like the kids' innocence to come back. For them to be able to laugh and be happy. To understand their refugee neighbors experiences rather than treating them with suspicion because they are encroaching on their turf." This is part of the Myers neighborhood vision, the dream. Life seldom simplifies as time goes on, but neighborhoods are taking control of their destinies to maintain the humanity and quality of life they so desire. As Myers Neighborhood Association and others like it grow in experience, inroads are made on gaining control over that quality. But no one does it alone. Organizations like the YES Network offer the glue that brings and hold groups together while working toward common goals. A neighborhood association may know what it wants and have an idea how to get there. YES helps them develop the steps to make the experience well-coordinated and effective. It brings partners to the table that have expertise needed for a given project. Connecting Communities Foundation provides funds to hire those who have the services to offer. Together, we make a difference.

Empowerment is the act of giving power or authority to someone or something; to authorize, especially by legal or official means. For example, did you drive the speed limit today? Did you eat fruits or vegetables today or exercise? Did you read a book today? Or did you attend a seminar or workshop today? If you did any of these things, you chose to accept what was being offered (empowerment) and implemented that process of empowerment into your life. Congratulations, you further empowered yourself in the areas of 1) reduce and prevent crime, 2) increase healthy lifestyles, 3) increase educational assistance, or 4) increase job skills and employment.

Resources grant from Connecting Communities Foundation. The first is the Creative Expressions After-School Performing Arts Program from the Single Parents Are Not Alone. SPANA is a non-profit organization for single parents in Tucson founded by Miyoka Brous....Effort and Hope cont. pg 4 sard, a single mom. This group will provide energy. An Arizona resident since 1966, students performing modified versions of she landed in Tucson in 2004 wielding a popular musicals. It will take place just before huge U-Haul van with her furniture and 12 the Friday Night movies which draws a crowd -year-old daughter in tow. No obstacle of parents and children at Myers-Ganoung was too big for Mesimer, an accountant Elementary School. by trade. The second half of the year, Clean And Sober "I like to go outside my comfort zone and Theatre sponsored by COMPASS, a behavioral get grants to fund neighborhood projects," health service provider in Tucson, will include she said. school children talking about their experiences This year, she is the chair of the 29th Street in order to develop a personal voice and confiCoalition. The Coalition is a group of five dence. Theatrical performances are also part neighborhoods that have joined together of the end of the program. to "enrich the quality of life for residents “I hope it will make it easier for them to talk and businesses in the site by implementing about what they’re going through eventually,” community-based, comprehensive, multi- Mesimer said. “If we can involve the children, agency strategies to 'weed' out crime viothe parents will come.” lence and drugs, and to 'seed' the area Efforts like this provide alternatives to crimewith educational, recreational, social and related behavior and attitudes that often lead economic development, thereby contribto substance abuse, juvenile delinquency and uting to a vital, safe and supportive envischool failure. ronment," according to its Web site. Local business involvement is key to the assoIndicators, what are they? Over the years, the neighborhood became ciation's efforts. An annual celebration at An Indicator is a measure of something in an eclectic mix of nationalities. As MesiFreedom Park includes the businesses and terms of the amount. For example, a portion mer goes from door-to-door, she notices gives them the opportunity to advertise of crime in a neighborhood can be measured multi-generational households from coun- through raffle items that bear their logos or to through its number of drug related offenses tries all over the world. Bantu tribesmen set up exhibition booths that introduce busi(indicator). This measure can indicate the from Somalia. Chinese and Japanese, nesses to residents. The first year, 500 resiamount of times a person is arrested for Mexican, Vietnamese, Russian. To some dents showed up. The following year, there using, selling, or interacting with illegal neighborhood workers, it might be daunt- were 2,500. drugs. It indicates a neighborhood’s attribing to knock on doors asking for volunteer The association gained 501c4 classification utes (quality or characteristics) surrounding hours for the numerous projects. Mesimer which allows them to accept donations. neighborhood resident’s illegal drug interacrecruits the children of the residents as Later, a community building was constructed tion. interpreters since many are bi-lingual. This and a Kinship and Adoption Resource and EduWhat They Mean to a Neighborhood helps communication, but also builds trust cation grant followed which allowed the MNA Indicators within a neighborhood are benchbetween her and the new neighbors. to hire a director for the program to support marks by which a neighborhood can meas“The kids are my greatest resource,” Mesi- elderly who are raising their grandchildren and ure its level of empowerment, or define its mer said. house other services. character. To measure a neighborhood’s She worries about the lost childhoods of Martin's words echo the attitude of members character profile, we need to measure each youth in the neighborhood. She sees their of the MNA and volunteers. state of mind as “Nobody’s watching me, attribute (crime, health, education, and “There’s always a way to do things. When you nobody cares, and I have to do everything run into setbacks, figure how to get things employment) individually based on its indicators. Therefore, all of the crime indicators for myself and I have tondbe tough.” done. You just have to let your imagination go. She notes children in 2 and 3rd grade are You don’t have to be the fastest or the smartmust be measured (individually against the doing drugs. The neighborhood rate of est. You just have to put a little effort into it.” city’s average and against itself) to identify residents who finish high school is lower a neighborhoods character profile. For exthan the city’s while juvenile drug offenses ample, if Myers has 24 occurrences of are rising and prostitution offenses are graffiti vs. Roberts only having 12 occurInformation about the CCNR grant won higher than city averages, according to by Myers Neighborhood can be found on rences of graffiti, we would say that Myers court and U.S. Census records. the Connecting Communities Foundation has a higher rate of graffiti occurrences Mesimer is excited about the service prowebsite viders YES Network will fund with the recompared to Roberts. We would conclude cent Connecting Community Needs with 13 that Myers needs more program choices in order to help empower it to decrease the number of graffiti occurrences within its neighborhood.

Miracle Manor Survives One on One Mentoring Crime Prevention and Reduction

Miracle Manor The neighborhood is bordered on the north and south by Miracle Mile and W. Grant Road and on the east and west by N. Fairview Ave. and N. Oracle Road. Entering Miracle Manor on 15th street from Grant Road, Lim Bongs DriveThrough Liquor Store appears on the right. A FOR RENT sign on the left. A gutted building follows, than a rundown trailer park named "Sleepy Hollow" to the east side. Some yards are well tended, others have foot-high grass and cars. Signs mark the landscape like lighthouses at sea. " Another Household for Health Care Reform." "Humanitarian Aid is Never A Crime." 14

By Anne Dalton

Then the S + K Market building appears. The entire north side of the building displays a new mural with the heading, "Welcome to Miracle Manor." All colors of the rainbow are represented here. YES Network provided coordination, collaboration and mobilization service to the neighborhood—which included grant writing which paid for the mural project in 2009. It contracted the artist, Michael Schwartz, to work with the residents. The finished project was dedicated on April 24. Tim Ryan, a disc jockey, pumps the top

is finally living up to its name. Although outside appearances may suggest otherwise, it is making a comeback.

40 from a portable stereo system while tending the hot dogs and burgers cooking on the grill. Essays and art projects written by local art students about the project are strung on a line, turning in the breeze. Local customers tell Kim Chhay, coowner of the S+K, they appreciate having the mural on the side of the S+K building. The couple bought the store in 2005. Chhay heard from neighbors when they moved in that the neighborhood was safer now than it used to be. Marsha Quinn, a neighborhood activist, moved into Miracle Manor in July, 1996. A stately woman with earnest energy,

she has dreams for the neighborhood. Her husband, Jim, is the vice president of MM's neighborhood association this year. Five years ago, the association board committed to making MM a safer place for families to raise their children. "Sleepy Hollow was once the most beautiful trailer park in Tucson," Marsha Quinn said. When an out-of-state owner took over, drugs and prostitution slowly infiltrated the area. MM has a 60 percent Hispanic population. Marsha Quinn sees this as an advantage for reclaiming the neighborhood. "The fact that we have so many Mexican families helps because they have strong family ties and really care about the safety of their children," Marsha Quinn said. "Although wary of police from their experiences in Mexico, they are slowly learning it's

o.k. to call 911 too," Marsha Quinn said. The board called on the Westside divi-

sion of the police department to help clean it up. The police told them the problem could be solved, but would take time and encouraged them to call 911 any time they saw something suspicious. The phone calls rained down and over time, the drugs and prostitution began to move on. “MM has also received support from Pro Neighborhoods and the Ward 3 Council's office,� Marsha Quinn said. After acquiring four separate grants, the neighborhood bought new equipment for the park on 15th Street. A sidewalk was added later for mothers with strollers. Fathers now play soccer with their kids there.

"It's wonderful to watch," Marsha Quinn said. From 2008 to 2009, there were significant dips in crime according to the Tucson Police Department. Juvenile violations were down 33 percent. Prostitution

was down 35 percent. Vehicle theft decreased by 37 percent and robberies decreased by 87 percent. The neighborhood association's next goal is to install sidewalks and curbs with street lights along 15th street like they added on the east to west streets. The neighborhood is identified by the City of Tucson as a low-income area with above-average rates of crime, poor health lifestyles, low educational attainment and above average rates of unemployment. It is one of the neighborhoods which gained the YES Network's attention in 2007. YES Network's assistance in finding more resources has been important. "Maria Harvey and Tony Simms are great," Marsha Quinn said. Maria Harvey is the former interim executive director of YES Network. "Neighborhoods can be engines of high

or low levels of crime, healthy or unhealthy lifestyles, educated or undereducated citizenry and/or high or low levels cont. pg. 10 15

SPANA & Compass C.A.S.T. Encore! Crime Reduction and Prevention Myers Neighborhood Association and Myers-Ganoung Elementary School want to boost kindergarten through fifth graders' confidence in their ability to express themselves this year. With Connecting Communities Foundation funding and YES Network's assistance, two service providers were chosen to make that possible. This fall, Single Parents Are Not Alone will provide a theatre workshop as an after-school program. Students signing up will have the opportunity to modify a script from a popular musical and put it on in front of their peers and parents. Single Parents Are Not Alone, a nonprofit support organization for single parents, will contract with Live Theatre Workshop in Tucson to run the Creative Expressions After-School Performing Arts Program at the school. Michael Martinez, the education director at Live Theatre Workshop in Tucson will be the instructor for Creative Expressions. He worked with SPANA in the Miracle Manor neighborhood last year at Arizona Academy of Leadership. He will teach the performing arts portion of the class. Twenty students will participate one day a week for two hours for 10 weeks. The effort begins on September 28 and student sign-ups are voluntary. "The approach is the same each place," Martinez said, "giving the kids a chance to shine," Martinez said. Beyond theatrical arts, students also learn how to be part of a team. During the second part of the school year, Clean And Sober Theatre (C.A.S.T.) will work with students C.A.S.T. is part of Compass, a behavioral health service provider in Tucson. It developed this innovative program for 13 to 23 year old high school students whose lives were affected by addictions, whether their own or someone else’s. Abuse is discussed, which can be substance-related or personal. Students go through eight to ten weeks of training doing theatre games to become relaxed and build confidence. They talk about their stories and then a script is written as a combination of stories with a pattern.

SINGLE PARENTS ARE NOT ALONE presents a biblically based forum for single parents to meet their special needs and to assure them an open environment that affords the opportunity to learn principles that assist them in building spritually strong families, appropriate relationships, financial wisdom, health awareness, legislative involvement and wholeness within themselves. For more information please contact Miyoka Broussard at 520-991-1864 or our website


"The script starts when things were cool. Trouble develops. Solutions are tried," Susan Arnold, director said. Arnold has been in theatre a long time. Earning an Master of Arts degree in media, she originally planned to make documentaries. She ended up choosing live theatre over film because it requires more involvement from the audience. "Film was like voyeurism. You sit in a dark theatre as a spectator. You don’t have to interact with what’s going on the screen. Theatre is more personal. You must interact," she says. Students participating in the past found it to be helpful in resolving their own traumatic experiences. The impact of performances on the audiences is significant, particularly parents. "They can really see the impact of what they do," Arnold said. "People come up to them in the mall and recognize them and say things like, 'You changed my life."' The Myers-Ganoung school project will be the program's first effort working with students in this younger age group. Arnold states they will get a pared-down version of the high school experience. "There will be more one-on-one there. The focus will be on building their voices and self-expression, confidence and team work," Arnold said. After 12 weeks of work, the students will give a performance in front of the school and neighborhood residents. The group of students will be slightly smaller than the SPANA program because the discussions are much more personal and time to hear what a student is saying and respond is critical to the process. Both Vicki Mesimer of MNA and Julie McIntyre are excited about the potential of these programs. They see the need to find new ways to help students talk about their experiences in a safe environment. The history of both programs indicates increased motivation for students not only to gain confidence but to look forward to attending school as well. Further coverage of these programs will be covered in later editions.

C.A.S.T. is a program of Compass Behavioral Health Care, a non-profit organization providing prevention, education and treatment services to Southern Arizona. Parties Interested in booking a performance for the coming year or contributing to C.A.S.T. in any way should contact the C.A.S.T office at (520)6283362.

L.I.F.T Educational Success Learning Incentive For Teens (LIFT) Program Learning Incentive For Teens (LIFT) is a fairly new program of Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Network. LIFT was conceived and developed by Jean Jarvis and Ann Young when they found a gap in services for high school students living on their own or with someone other than a birth parent. These students had previously been served by a well-known local agency that was no longer serving that population. Jean and Ann decided that somehow they needed to continue supporting these youth and the volunteer parents they lived with in order to stabilize that living situation. Most of the care givers were grandparents and most were single women who were struggling financially. Once the idea was conceived, the first order of business was to find an agency that would accept this program under their 501C3. Ann turned to an acquaintance who was a member of a local collaborative operating in Tucson. She asked if he knew of such an agency that would be willing to do this. He immediately recommended we call Tony Simms at YES Network. We sat down with Tony and explained the objectives of the program. Tony graciously accepted our proposal and a wonderful partnership was born. This is our third year of supporting the youth who fit the profile of those who need and can benefit from the LIFT FINANCIAL SUPPORT. The YES Network staff provides all of the

administrative support at no cost to the LIFT program. Last school year we were able to support twenty-one students of which seven graduated from high school. This year we hope to provide financial support for twenty five students. Currently we have students in five high schools including charter schools. We require the students we assist to provide a monthly progress report—with the stipulation that they must be passing all classes to receive the full incentive of $120 each month. Thus far, this process has proven to encourage the students to stay on task and pass their classes. Most

to them to know that someone really cares about their success in high school and that the financial reward is very important to their ability to stay in school. Sadly, Jean Jarvis passed away in March 2010. As was always evidenced by Jean’s loving kindness and continued generosity, she has provided for the program in her will. We miss her so much as a friend and a partner in this very worthwhile endeavor. By Ann Young If you would like to help support the L.I.F.T program or have additional questions please call YES Network 297-0702.

Requirements for Joining the L.I.F.T Program Complete an application available from the school counselors office. Provide resonable expectation date of graduation. Stay in school or return to school. Students cannot be eligible for other services/programs


Leadership Training Institute Class Schedule

YES Network’s Leadership Training Institute’s mission is to empower nonprofit and community leaders with current relevant information about the Tucson and Pima county communities and empowerment skills so they may provide cost-effective leadership, quality management, and effective programming to youth, families, and neighborhoods in Tucson and Pima County. The program has four components, Program Development, Organizational Development, Revenue/Marketing Development, and Community Engagement. L.T.I. is free for anyone who would like to attend. Please contact Milini Simms at 520-297-0702 to register.

Organizational Development Conflict and Negotiation This session will explain the breakdown of conflict and the different stages as well as bargaining and negotiation strategies to reduce conflict. Date: October 14, 2010 Time: 5:30-7:30 Location: La Paloma Family Services Instructor: Cathy Tullgren, MSW

Community Engagement Essentials of Community Development This workshop will focus on the necessary steps to building a strong community and gaining support for your group. Date: Thursday, November 18, 2010 Time: 5:30PM – 7:30PM Location: La Paloma Family Services Instructor: Andre Newman, MPH How to Empower People-Transformation This workshop will discuss how to get individuals engaged within their communities and contribute positively to their neighborhoods as well as local non-profits. Date: Thursday, December 9, 2010 Time: 5:30PM – 7:30PM Location: La Paloma Family Services Instructor: Dr. Pamela Adams

La Paloma Family Services is located at 870 W. Miracle Mile on the northeast corner of Miracle Mile and Fairview. Please call to register in advance (520)297-0702.


My/Our gift will be matched by In every community there is work to be done‌.in every heart there is the power to do it. -Marianne Williamson

Please pledge to support the empowerment of Tucson’s youth and families to build stronger, safer neighborhoods. Name__________________________________________ Address________________________________________

____________________________ (Company Name) It is my/ our intention to fufill my/our pledge to Youth Empowerment Services Network. If unforseen circumstances occur, the unpaid portion of my/our pledge shall shall not be legally binding against my/our estate. Gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Donors may be acknowledged in the annual progess report to the community and/or on our website. If you would prefer your donation be anonymous, please check here.

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Youth Empowerment Services Network 633 N. 2nd Ave. Tucson, AZ 85705

Youth Advocate ($60-$299) per year $___________ Family Advocate ($300-$899) per year $________ Neighborhood Advocate ($900-$5000) per year ______ Foundation ($250-$2000) per year $____________ Corporation ($1500-$5000) per year $__________ I want to pay in full now. I want to pay monthly. I want to pay quarterly. I can make a one time donation of $__________

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If you would like to make a donation using your credit card or Pay Pal please go onto our website and use the Donate Now button at We can also send an invoice using Pay Pal which you can pay using a credit card as well. If you would prefer this option, please check this box and provide your e mail address on the following line. ___________________________________ For more questions please contact Lisa Winton or Milini Simms at (520)297-0702.

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633 N. 2nd Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705

Donate Your Used Clothing and Household Items YES Network is partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters Donation Center to collect clothing and household items (shoes, belts, linens, towels, blankets, sheets and curtains). Donate your gently used clothing or household items to YES Network and turn them into funding to support programs for Tucson youth, families and neighborhoods. Items collected at YES Network will be delivered by Big Brothers Big Sisters Donation Center and sold to Saver’s Thrift Store. Proceeds collected will support the work of YES Network and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Donations can be dropped off at YES Network located at 633 N. 2nd Ave during regular business hours (M-W 8:30—5:00, Th 8:30-4:00). Call 297-0702 for more information. 20


Connecting Communities  

A publication of Connecting Communities Foundation, a community foundation making grants to improve neighborhoods in Tucson, AZ .