Celebrating 50 years of action-packed service!

June 2016

"For every complex problem there is a solution that is concise, clear, simple, and wrong." 
H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956), 
American Journalist, Essayist, Editor
 
You've probably heard a fair amount lately about homelessness in Tempe.
 
There is a strong likelihood the issue will worsen before it improves. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 2010 - 2014, the number of Tempe residents living in poverty has increased from 31,906 to 38,365, an increase of more than 20%. One can expect that the numbers for 2015 and 2016 will continue to trend upward.
 
Part of our role at TCAA is to help transition homeless adults to full-time employment through our I-HELP homeless shelter program and to provide rental assistance to eligible families - prioritizing those facing eviction - to prevent the homeless population from increasing.
 
The role we play is effective and essential; and by ourselves, not enough. It will take the combined efforts and resources of the entire community to successfully meet the needs of the people we serve. Fortunately, the city has committed leadership in government, the private sector and the nonprofit sector to address this, and other human services challenges.
 
I will be retiring effective June 30. There are so many people to thank who have assisted in making my tenure here both rewarding and enjoyable. I've been privileged to work with a group of professionals - both volunteer and paid staff - that give their time and talents generously to help those in need. That same feeling is extended to TCAA's nonprofit, community, and government partners.
 
An even greater privilege has been learning from the people we serve - listening to their stories, their challenges, and respecting the resilience and strength it takes for them to work every day to improve their lives for themselves and for the people they love. It is a lesson that will stay with me for the rest of my days.
 
Sincerely,

Bill Epps
Executive Director  
There is Still Time to Bid on the Commemorative Bowls!

 
June 6 is the last day to bid on the anniversary bowls created by local artisans in support of TCAA's 50th anniversary. To recognize this milestone and raise funds for our feeding programs, nearly a dozen talented local artists created 50 unique bowls to be auctioned online now through June 6.

Each bowl represents both the hunger needs that are present in our community, as well as the generosity of our supporters who help keep the shelves of Tempe's largest food pantry filled. All proceeds benefit Tempe Community Action Agency.

Congratulations, 
Corey Woods!
 
Vice Mayor Corey Woods received the Barbara R. Norton Community Service Award for his many years of support and service to TCAA  and the Tempe Community.  The award is presented to outstanding individuals who give with their hearts and go above and beyond the call of duty to address the needs of others in our community.  Mother Teresa told us that most of us will not do great things during our lifetime but we should concentrate on doing "small things with great love."

Concert in the Escalante Garden 

A big thank you to everyone who came out for the recent Concert in the Garden at Escalante Community Garden.
The event featured music by Tandem Duo (percussion and violin) and Sugar & Carbs (percussion duo) to benefit

Another concert event at Escalante is in the works for this fall. Watch for details in future newsletters. 


Friendship Village Cleans Up 

Friendship Village Tempe not only provides a wonderful home to our area's seniors, but they are great neighbors as well. Each week, the "laundry ladies" that work at Friendship Village wash, dry and fold the linens used for the local I-HELP shelters. They play a vital role in our ability to provide clean, safe lodging for the homeless.



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Help Us Hydrate


As it heats up, June is a great time to remind all of us to drink more water to stay healthy. This is particularly true for those among us who do not have easy access to drinking water, such as the homeless. TCAA partners with other service providers throughout the Heat Relief Network to provide hydration stations and heat refuge for people in need. 

The goal is to prevent heat-related deaths during the summer months when high daytime temperatures are coupled with high temperatures at night. TCAA also is a collection point for bottled water and basic needs donations. 

We see fewer donations, for both food and water, during these summer months, so your help is especially needed. Anyone can help by hosting water drives and donating to TCAA. 

Drop off donations Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to the TCAA Food Pantry located at 2150 E. Orange Street or contact Carlos Dominguez 
(480-350-5879) to arrange for a pick-up of water donations.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Water Drive