Nonprofit Program Wants To Give Struggling Tempe Families Financial Stability

Published: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 5:00am
Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 5:05am
(Photo by Mariana Dale - KJZZ)
An example of a food box provided by the Tempe Community Action Agency.

Families come to the Tempe Community Action Agency when they need emergency help like food boxes or rental assistance. 

A new program aims to break the cycle of poverty and crisis. 

The Family Economic Advancement Initiative is a three-year program that links families with social workers, job training, rental assistance and other services.

“By gaining those skills, vocational skills, financial skills, families will be able to better prevent crisis from happening in the future,” said Deborah Arteaga, Tempe Community Action Agency executive director.

TCAA reports single-parent households with children have the highest poverty rates in Tempe and that’s the program’s target.

For example a household that might qualify for the program is a family of two making 200 percent the federal poverty level, about $32,000 each year.

“Many times they’re just lacking the resources and the navigation help and case management help to be able to move the family beyond that crisis,” Arteaga said.

The program will enroll 50 families annually for the next two years and pair them with a social worker who can help them determine what other types of services they might need.

TCAA collaborates with other organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the city of Tempe, Newtown and a New Leaf to help meet the family’s needs. The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust funded the initiative with a $221,000 grant.

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