Financial Wellness Partnership Update
March 2022
United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona circulates this monthly newsletter focused on financial wellness topics. In this edition, learn about our last network meeting, our upcoming RTS workshop, savings resources, VITA, and more.
Updates and Research
Network Meeting - February 2022
Thanks to all who joined us for a great conversation at the Financial Wellness Partnership meeting on 2/17. We first heard from Brian Mayer, a sociology professor at University of Arizona who shared preliminary findings from his Fall 2021 Tucson Poverty Project class survey of Eviction Prevention Program participants.
Evictions and Housing Insecurity in Pima County by Brian Mayer PhD University of Arizona Fall 2021 report
The survey focused on risk factors for eviction, the assistance application process, and participants' future plans for economic and housing stability. Less than 20% of respondents reported plans to start putting money aside for savings, and food and utilities were highest on the wishlist for future aid. As a group, we talked through potential implications and next steps related to the findings – including ideas of how, where, and when to start engaging people with other basic needs and financial stability resources.
Our meeting also included a rundown of the VITA program at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. Filing this year is especially important: the American Rescue Plan expanded eligibility and maximum amounts for certain tax credits, including the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For families with children, the 2021 CTC is $3,000-$3,600. And this year, for the first time, the EITC can be worth up to $1,500 for some workers without children – nearly triple the amount it was in 2020. People with incomes below the filing requirement amount may not think it’s worth it to file their taxes. However, not filing means they could be missing out on CTC and EITC. Slides from both presentations are available upon request; email Lisa if interested.
Join us for an upcoming Financial Wellness Partnership meeting - email Lisa Floran ( for more information.

  • Public Policy Focus Group: Wednesday 3/9 at 1:30pm (coincides with RTS Workshop - more info below)
  • Financial Coaching Focus Group: Thursday 3/24 at 1pm
  • Financial Wellness Partnership Network: Thursday 4/21 at 1pm
Policy: RTS Workshop with Civic Engagement Beyond Voting
Did you know that Arizona voters can weigh in on legislation from their homes? Request to Speak (RTS) is the Arizona Legislature's unique online system that allows individuals to support or oppose legislation being considered for passage.
United Way’s Financial Wellness Partnership, in conjunction with our Public Policy Focus Team, is hosting a virtual overview of the AZ Request to Speak system next week. During this 30 minute session, staff from Civic Engagement Beyond Voting (CEBV) will review RTS and how to use it, and they will also highlight other opportunities for engaging with the AZ Legislature. CEBV is a local grassroots nonpartisan organization working to empower Arizona residents to exercise their voices at the state level. CEBV staff will cover the basics of the AZ Legislature's unique online RTS system and walk us through how to use it. Since 2017, CEBV has registered over 10,000 Arizona residents for RTS and held over 500 trainings on its use, presenting to groups as diverse as neighborhood associations, advocacy organizations, and civic clubs.
RTS Workshop with Civic Engagement Beyond Voting (virtual)
Wednesday, March 9th
Registration is required for this Zoom event:

*Note: If you do not already have a RTS account, we strongly encourage you to submit a request to CEBV to create one before Monday, March 7th. RTS accounts must be activated before use, but CEBV staff can help us do this. This activation will enable you to use your RTS account during the workshop. Sign up for a RTS account: CEBV RTS account registration and activation
Research and Best Practices: Saving Initiatives
As we shift toward pandemic recovery, it's more important than ever to help people access opportunities to start building and rebuilding savings. According to data from FINRA, even before COVID-19, LMI households in Arizona were half as likely to have an emergency savings fund or retirement plan as the higher income households.
America Saves recently held their annual event, America Saves Week, providing families and individuals an opportunity to evaluate their budgets and develop new savings goals. Additionally, Asset Funders Network recently released Child Savings Accounts: A Core Point of the Equity Agenda, a briefing on the growing network of CSA programs across the country. The report includes a variety of potential benefits that a CSA program provides to a community such as improved early childhood development, better physical and mental health for children and caregivers, improved academic performance, and more. It also describes the key aspects of designing and implementing an equitable CSA program and examples of successful programs that already exist.
Interested in more resources and research related to savings?
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Services
Through United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, households earning up to $73,000 annually can access free, quality tax preparation from IRS-certified preparers. Support is available in three ways in 2022: online through GetYourRefund, DIY self-prep, and in-person appointments. Appointment booking is required for in-person sites and can be scheduled at All in-person and Valet VITA Tax Preparers will be fully vaccinated, including boosters, and will be masked. All taxpayers must show proof of vaccination and be masked at all times during any in-person meeting. If taxpayer can’t show proof of vaccination, we encourage them to use the GetYourRefund online service.
  • Learn more about VITA options for 2022, including in-person locations and how to book an appointment: 2022 VITA Webpage

  • Help spread the word: Access the electronic version of the 2022 VITA Flyer
Resource Corner
Woman peeks over a book in a library surrounded by books
Financial Wellness Resources for Southern Arizona
United Way Tucson Financial Wellness Resource List: Find programmatic and 1:1 opportunities for financial coaching/education, tax assistance, workforce development, and more on this list developed by United Way of Tucson and Southern AZ partners. You are also welcome to email Lisa if you want to talk through ideas or recommendations about what might be a good fit:

United Way Tucson Financial Wellness Volunteer Opportunities: Want to lend your time as a volunteer with a financial wellness program? See our list of opportunities to volunteer as a financial mentor, workshop facilitator, ESL teacher, and more.
Video Content from Million Stories Media

United Way of Tucson has teamed up with the Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship to share valuable content focused on financial wellness. Million Stories, a project of the Singleton Foundation, is on a mission to make community members more financially competent. Their platform includes a host of entertaining videos and programming designed to share stories, lessons and information about personal finance. These videos can be great tools to introduce topics in a financial wellness course. One video of note: Early Payday discusses the increasing popularity of early payday apps, how they can help families struggling to make ends meet, and the potential dangers involved. This video would fit well in a unit dealing with debt or avoiding financial pitfalls.
Reading List
Other Opportunities
Funding Opportunity - Santa Cruz County Nonprofit Grants: The Community Foundation of Southern Arizona is collaborating with Santa Cruz County on a funding opportunity to support financial wellness programs and initiatives. Organizations with connections and partnerships in Santa Cruz County are encouraged to explore the opportunity. Applications due 3/25.

Funding Opportunity - Economic & Workforce Development and Special Event Grants: The City of Tucson is accepting applications from Tucson-serving nonprofit organization intending to fund a workforce development or special event between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.Applications due 4/15/22.

Job Opportunity - United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona: Senior Program Manager for the Family Support Alliance.

Internship Opportunity - Housing and Community Development, City of Tucson: This intern will likely be working on engagement efforts around the Thrive in the 05 Action Activities this summer, but there are also opportunities to support the work that HCD is doing around affordable housing, communicating HCD's work more creatively, and community engagement.

Professional Development: Viable Insights recently shared a strategic planning and continuous quality improvement resource that they have made free for our partners – you can access it here via the coupon code FWP21.
Additional Information

What Tenants Need to Know During COVID-19 – Robust list including rental assistance, eviction protection/moratorium, and legal assistance resources compiled by Pima County

Eviction Prevention Resources - The Tucson Pima EPP portal for rental and utility assistance is still open, working with a network of 10+ nonprofits to distribute relief funds from the City of Tucson and Pima County. Tenants are encouraged to sign up for the waitlist in order to be considered.

Pima County Housing Search - Searchable database of affordable rental housing, supported by Pima County

AZ Eviction Help - Information about eviction processes, tenant rights, and resources for rental assistance, utility assistance, legal assistance compiled by the Arizona Bar Association

Arizona Homeowner Assistance Fund: The HAF program provides help for homeowners who have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 after January 21st, 2020. Homeowners can use HAF funds for the purpose of preventing the following: homeowner mortgage delinquencies, homeowner mortgage defaults, homeowner mortgage foreclosures, homeowner loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacements of homeowners experiencing financial hardship.

Order Free COVID-19 Tests: Go to, to order four tests per household. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days and will begin shipping later this month. Note that the Biden administration announced this month that private insurance companies will be required to cover up to eight home COVID tests per month. Under the new policy, Americans will be able to either purchase home testing kits for free under their insurance or submit receipts for the tests for reimbursement, up to the monthly per-person limit. A family of four, for instance, could be reimbursed for up to 32 tests per month. PCR tests and rapid tests ordered or administered by a health provider will continue to be fully covered by insurance with no limit. Learn more here

AHCCCS Vaccine Navigators - The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), in partnership with Crisis Response Network, announces a new COVID-19 appointment and transportation navigation program for Medicaid members. Now, Medicaid members who need assistance scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, as well as transportation to and from that appointment, can call 1-844-542-8201, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

Vaccine Ambassadorship Toolkit: This toolkit from TPCH provides advocate resources related to accurate vaccine education and trauma-informed discussions about the vaccines with people experiencing homelessness.

AZDHS COVID-19 Website – Latest updates, closure and re-opening announcements, and data dashboard
The Financial Wellness Partnership seeks to improve the financial wellness of individuals and families by increasing accessibility to effective services, resources, and opportunities, and by influencing policy to
develop equitable, people-centered systems that support financial wellness.

View past newsletters and learn more about our programs here: United Way Financial Wellness

If you have questions or suggestions for future newsletters, please contact Lisa Floran, Senior Director of Financial Wellness Initiatives at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona: