Celebrating 50 years of action-packed service!

February 2016



Have you ever tried to survive a full day outside in the scorching Arizona summer?

Would you even consider going on a job interview when you haven't been able to bathe in weeks?

Do you think you could sleep at night if you had no safe place to lay your head?

If you can imagine yourself in any of these situations, then you have an inkling of the reality that is homelessness. Coming up on April 9 is TCAA's second annual I-HELP ( Interfaith  Homeless 
Emergency Lodging Program) Walk/Run. As Tempe's only homeless shelter program, I-HELP partners with the local faith community to provide emergency   shelter, meals, workforce development and life skills training. This year, the program celebrates its 10th anniversary of operating in Tempe seven nights per week, 365 days a year. The Walk/Run raises essential funds that can have a big impact in the lives of  I-HELP clients:
   
$20 can replace a Birth Certificate
$12 for a new State ID
              $20 provides 7 days worth of transportation for an individual
              $28 can supply a backpack to store essential items and clothing
              $100 can buy a new mat to sleep on
 
Join us at this year's event, not only to help raise these much-needed funds, but also to help raise awareness of Tempe's homeless and demonstrate our community's commitment to helping them regain their footing. I Walk ... I Run ... I-HELP!

Sincerely, 
Bill Epps
Executive Director 

TCAA's 50th Anniversary, 
The Talk of the Town! 
 
TCAA's 50th Anniversary is the Talk of the Town!
TCAA is excited to spend 2016 celebrating our first 50 years of service to the Tempe community and raising awareness of the needs of residents going forward. On Jan. 28, Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell read a proclamation during the City Council meeting honoring TCAA's work.
 
The meeting also served as an opportunity to debut a new display that highlights the impact of people, programs, partnership and giving, which will travel to various locations around town throughout the anniversary year. You can check out the display during the month of May, for example, at the Tempe History Museum.

I WALK ... I RUN ... I-HELP
 
Join us on Saturday, April 9 at Kiwanis Park for the second annual I-HELP Walk/Run for the Homeless. Last year, 250 walkers raised more than $8,250 to support the program that provides the only homeless shelter in the City of Tempe. Registration is $20 and includes a free t-shirt. 

There will be a 5k, 1 mile and kids fun run, plus live music, food
and refreshments. Prizes and recognition will be awarded to the largest team, the team/individual who fundraises the most leading up to the event, "best dressed" team and more!
 
The routes can be strolled casually with your friends or run as a challenge against your fellow athletes. All ages are welcome. We hope you will set up a team of friends and family, working together to raise the funds needed to keep this program running -- our goal this year is $20,000.
 
Click here to register and set up your team's fundraising page.

I-HELP Impacts Lives 

Shari is 42 years old and never planned to be homeless. "My bills became more than I was making," she says. "I couldn't afford my rent so I planned to move in with a friend, pay down my debt and then get another apartment."
 
The living arrangements did not work out. By then, Shari had given up her apartment. With all her family living out of town, Shari was left with few options. She ended up living in her car until an acquaintance shared a list of area shelters with her.  I-HELP was one of them.
 
"It was my first time being homeless," she shares. "I didn't know what to expect; I was terrified. My initial thought was that I do not belong here. But, I was able to get a good night's rest and maintain a good appearance and attitude. Only people at my job knew what I was going through."
 
During the six months Shari was with the I-HELP program, she was able to save enough money to move to California where her sister lives and find a new job. "Right now I am doing well," Shari notes. "I am paying my bills and starting to look for an apartment of my own. Everyone should know, not all homeless people are dirty, lazy or some kind of addict. Anyone can become homeless; all it takes is the right set of circumstances or hardship."
 
"The I-Help program is amazing.  It helps an individual get back on their feet while being provided the necessities of life and allowing and individual to keep his/her dignity.  I thank ALL the individuals involved in the I-Help program, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you!"

 Click here to learn more about I-HELP. 

What's Happening: 
Tempe Empty Bowls: February 26th and 27th

This fun community event benefiting TCAA and United Food Bank returns February 26 & 27! Browse through a beautiful selection of ceramic bowls hand-crafted by local artists and students in Tempe area high schools. Purchase a bowl for a $10 donation and Whole Foods Market Tempe will provide a simple meal of soup and bread (symbolic of the caloric intake that must sustain many around the world for an entire day). 
 
The Friday, February 26 event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 6th Street Park in Downtown Tempe, just east of Mill on 6th St.

The next day, February 27, the event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tempe Library Complex at the SW corner of Rural and Southern.
t oday!
Market Updates
Weekly Newsletter
Did you know...
The Clark Park Farmers Market has its own newsletter with weekly updates about vendors to expect, special events and more.  See this week's newsletter here !


Every Saturday in February
Show your love of our garden this month by painting a steel cut butterfly that will eventually hang in our garden. This is also a fundraiser with a minimum donation of $5-$8. All ages welcome. Supplies provided, this will take place 9:30-11:30
***Dedications on the butterflies from a previous project will remain as-is

Garden classes now offered at Clark Park through  DIG IT! 

Community Garden Education Series:  A wide array of courses is now available to the general public at Clark Park Community Garden 1730 S. Roosevelt Street,  Tempe AZ. Choose from a variety of hands-on, engaging gardening classes.   Get a jump-start in planning your next vegetable garden ... learn about vermicomposting ... garden with your toddler ... and more.

For a complete list of courses offered and to register, 
  click here.