United Way of Tucson has collected
$560,366 to help individuals and families in our Southern Arizona community.
United For Southern Arizona
COVID-19 Fund Updates:
As we pivot now from Response to Recovery, your United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona is excited to share bi-weekly updates related to our United for Southern Arizona COVID-19 Fund. Funds raised are used to help local individuals and families in our community as we work towards recovering and rebuilding our community from the COVID-19 crisis. It is only through your generosity that we are able to create a positive impact in the lives of others. Thank you for making this possible! Read on below for individual stories of impact, volunteer opportunities and other important updates.
Partner Agencies:
Community Stories
Thanks to the generous support of our funders and donors like you, United Way of Tucson has been able to help individuals and families start to recover and rebuild their lives in conjunction with our partner organizations. Below you will read the stories of these individuals and how they have been directly affected during this COVID-19 crisis.
Preventing Domestic Violence
Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse: “Elena* and her daughter found themselves in a dangerous situation right as the pandemic arrived. Elena connected with Emerge, and first and foremost, their staff helped the family find safety. But Emerge also assisted with other hardships – helping Elena navigate complicated immigration issues and, despite an economy that was largely shut down, search for stable employment. Through these and other efforts, Emerge is now happy to report that Elena and her daughter are safely in their own home. Emerge was also able to use support from the United for Southern Arizona Fund to cover a month’s worth of groceries for Elena as she gets back on her feet. This seemingly small gesture will help her until her first paycheck, allow her to sustain what she has achieved, and help her stay safe and independent.”

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and we want to highlight the important work Emerge is doing in the Southern Arizona community. According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men have experienced domestic violence and 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse in their lifetime. The stress of COVID-19 has only exacerbated the instances of intimate partner violence and child abuse over the past six months. Stay-at-home orders, intended to protect the public and prevent widespread infection, left many IPV victims trapped with their abusers. To learn more about how Emerge is working to prevent domestic violence in Southern Arizona Click Here.
Rental Assistance
Interfaith Community Services: “Margaret* and Vince* have lived in their current home for the past three years. They have always lived paycheck-to-paycheck. And each time that it seemed like they might be able to start saving, they would face an emergency that set them back. However, they were generally able to get by. Vince has a disability and generally receives about $800/month, but the bulk of their income always came from Margaret’s jobs in hospitality. When closures hit in March, she was immediately furloughed from the hotel where she worked. Realizing that Vince’s benefits would not be enough to cover them, she quickly applied for unemployment benefits. But as the weeks ticked by and she heard nothing, she started to become nervous about keeping up with their expenses and reached out to us. The couple was especially nervous about owing back rent, unsure of how they would catch up on the lost months even if Margaret’s job came back. They also worried that any missed months could make them vulnerable to eviction. The United for Southern Arizona COVID-19 Fund helped Margaret and Vince cover a month’s rent during that crucial period of uncertainty before the unemployment benefits came through. When they received the assistance, Margaret breathed a sigh of relief, saying that she finally had “some hope and some light through this difficult time.”
United Way of Tucson Response:
Housing Assistance and Preventing Evictions
Throughout the pandemic the most sought after request The United Way of Tucson's COVID-19 Fund has received has been for housing and utility bill payment, comprising over half of all requests the fund has fulfilled. It is devastating that so many in our community have experienced the dehumanizing process of being evicted during the pandemic. The Arizona Daily Star recently published a comprehensive article highlighting the devastating affects of eviction for people directly affected by the COVID-19 virus:
"One in five households statewide is experiencing severe economic strain, University of Arizona researchers report in their recent publication, “Forecasting Homelessness in Arizona During the COVID-19 Crisis... So far, by their estimations, the number of homeless here has increased by nearly 800 people. That’s an increase of about 58%."
To date, The United for Southern Arizona COVID-19 Fund has provided housing assistance assistance to 312 households, helping nearly 1,000 people remain in their homes during this uncertain time. The fund has also delivered more than $224,000 in assistance to help people make rent and mortgage payments until they found work or government benefits arrived. In addition to providing immediate relief, staff from United Way is working with other partners to address the underlying issues contributing to housing burdens and evictions in Southern Arizona. A few examples of what our staff is working on:

  • Provided input and lessons learned from our COVID-19 and Operation United funds to the Community Investment Corporation (CIC) as they developed the Pima County Eviction Prevention program.
  • Advocated with the National Low Income Housing Coalition, public officials, and community members to protect access to shelter and housing for transgender people experiencing homelessness.
  • Joined with more than 50 local leaders to develop actionable plans for affordable housing in conjunction with Arizona Town Hall and Habitat for Humanity.
  • Collaborating with the Eviction Prevention Task Force members from government, nonprofits, and property management associations to develop legislative recommendations for city, county, and state officials.
  • Working with graduate students from the University of Arizona to research promising, applicable strategies to improve housing and health.
We need your help to keep
Southern Arizona United
We need your continued support to help our community recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 Crisis. For nearly 100 years, your United Way of Southern Arizona has been fulfilling our mission of mobilizing the community to solve real-time problems. Your gift to this fund will quickly support a child, family, or older person with what they need most as our community heals. Together, we can help each other and our community emerge from this stronger than ever. When we LIVE UNITED, we can achieve more than any single entity can alone. When you GIVE UNITED, you can change lives.