Financial Wellness Partnership Update
October 2021
United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona circulates this monthly newsletter focused on financial wellness topics. In this edition, learn the latest about our recent network and focus team meetings, IT training scholarships, tools for CTC payments, and more.
Join us at our next Financial Wellness Partnership Meeting
Thursday 10/21, 1-2:30pm

This week's meeting will include a conversation about outreach and engagement strategies with Carol Bolger from Casa de los Niños, Jennie Grabel from Community Investment Corporation, and Gina Nickerson from United Way Tucson. The meeting will also include project updates from partners, focus teams, and United Way's Financial Wellness department.

All interested individuals in the community are welcome to Zoom in and join.

Email Lisa Floran ( to receive the link.
Updates and Research
Focus Team Updates
Our Financial Wellness Partnership currently hosts two focus teams. The first, the Collaborative Referrals team, works on projects to make referrals and services from multiple organizations easier on participants and nonprofit staff. By improving referral processes, the group aims to help households better meet their full range of needs and achieve higher levels of financial wellness. The second group, the Public Policy team, works on educational efforts in service to financial wellness advocacy and systems change. Through these efforts, the public policy group aims to build environments where optimal financial wellness is easier for all to pursue and achieve.
Collaborative Referrals Team
At our September meeting, the Collaborative Referrals team reviewed the Family Support Alliance's Home Visitation referral process, which serves as a central portal for individuals, case managers, hospital staff, and others to connect with home visitation supports. The group also briefly reviewed a potential form that could be used to refer individuals to financial wellness services. At the next meeting, we will be talking through our experiences using the test form and deciding how to move forward.
Next meeting: Thursday 10/28 at 10am
Public Policy Team
In the past month, the public policy team met with the Director of Public Policy at United Way to learn more about how our organization-wide policy agenda is set and used. We also started conversations around team-specific goals for 2022, including ideas around educating the general public on how larger systems impact financial wellness (banking, affordable housing, financial literacy, credit, tax codes) and community empowerment, organizing, and advocacy. If you would like to be involved in planning efforts for 2022, please feel free to reach out!
Next meeting: Wednesday 11/10 at 1pm
All are welcome to participate with our focus teams. If you would like to get involved, email Lisa Floran:
Trauma-Informed Economic Empowerment: Research and Practice
How can trauma impact financial behaviors and emotional relationship to money? The Financial Wellness Partnership at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona welcomes staff from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law’s Domestic Violence Law Clinic for an overview of their economic empowerment research and a conversation about best practices for trauma-informed financial education.
Research from the Clinic suggests that most financial literacy programs lack the trauma-informed approach shown to especially benefit survivors and vulnerable populations. Their findings have also revealed how trauma can be exacerbated when navigating public assistance and other systems with barriers, such as finance and banking. This online session will offer service providers, financial educators, and partners the opportunity to share experiences from their financial wellness work and learn more about trauma and economic abuse, economic justice, and promising strategies from the Domestic Violence Law Clinic staff. 
Trauma-Informed Economic Empowerment Workshop
Research and Best Practices from the Domestic Violence Law Clinic
Tuesday 11/16, 2pm – 4pm
Join us for this online event - Register Here Connecting Low-Income Families to Monthly Payments
Recent Census Pulse Survey data suggests that only 68% of eligible Arizona families have received a monthly Child Tax Credit payment since the policy rolled out in July. Interested in helping more families receive their credits? Staff from United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona held a training earlier this month about how anyone can use the tool to become a Child Tax Credit (CTC) navigator. This tool is a user-friendly way to populate a simplified tax return and e-file it with the IRS, helping families sign up to receive missing CTC or stimulus payments. is aimed at non-filers (low-income individuals and families who generally aren’t required to file taxes).
Right now, the IRS has committed to keeping their portal open for simplified returns through 11/15/21. We are uncertain about whether they will extend that deadline and recommend that anyone who might benefit from use it sooner rather than later. However, also keep in mind that our VITA team will be available to help with full or simplified returns next tax season, likely starting in early February. Any missing monthly CTC payments should be able to be claimed through filing at that time.
Helpful websites and more information

Volunteer Opportunity: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Every year, hundreds of VITA volunteers give their time and energy to help community members receive the biggest check many of them will receive all year: their tax refunds. For many clients served through VITA, their tax refund is a financial lifeline. United Way is looking for volunteers just like you to join the team this season. No previous tax experience required; United Way provides all the training needed for you to be an asset to our team.

  • Intake Specialists greet taxpayers and manage the waiting area. Interview taxpayers to verify that they have all documents necessary for tax preparation and scan documents into the tax preparation Hub. 
  • Tax Preparers attend our FREE VITA tax training and complete an IRS certification test. Learn our tax preparation software to serve taxpayers with free, efficient, accurate tax preparation.
  • More Advanced Role have you volunteered with VITA before? We would love to have you on our team as a Quality Reviewer or Site Coordinator.
Visit our VITA Volunteer page to sign up to receive more information about upcoming volunteer information and orientation sessions: VITA Volunteer Interest Sign-Up
Program Spotlight: Tucson Information Technology Alliance
The Tucson Information Technology Alliance, a partnership between Tucson-based tech accelerator Go For Vertical, Transmosis Corporation, and CIC, is excited to offer new training opportunities for high-growth information technology careers. Tucson has witnessed a booming 90 percent growth in technology jobs and a 29 percent growth in tech job wages over the last several years. This program offers free IT/CompTIA A+ Certification for Tucson residents, with a focus on the unemployed, underserved, minorities, veterans, and low-wage career changers.

This intensive training program will give participants a wide range of skills and knowledge needed for entry-level IT jobs. A part-time commitment of about 15 hrs. per week, mostly on-demand, online remote is expected to be successful in this program. Most training hours can be scheduled on your own time, including weekends. The scholarships are provided thanks to an Economic & Workforce Development Grant awarded to the Tucson Information Technology Skills Alliance by the City of Tucson. 
Learn more about the program and how to apply: Tucson IT Alliance Scholarship Program
Resource Corner
Woman peeks over a book in a library surrounded by books
Reading List
Resources and Opportunities
HOME-ARP Community Input Session: The City of Tucson and Pima County seek community input to discuss priority uses of $12.7m in American Rescue Plan funds related to homelessness and housing. Sessions on 11/1 and 11/3

Financial Wellness Resource List: If you have updates or suggestions of additional resources to add, please let the United Way team know.

United Way Financial Wellness Volunteer Opportunities: learn about volunteering with financial wellness programs our community

Professional Development Opportunity: 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.

Job Posting: Financial Wellness Project Manager, United Way of Tucson and Southern AZ

Job Posting: VITA Volunteer Engagement Manager, United Way of Tucson and Southern AZ
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

2-1-1 Eviction Assistance App - Answer a series of questions in approximately two minutes and receive detailed, individual, step-by-step guidance to about housing assistance and resources

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

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: