We from Arizona Roofing Systems, a local roofing company from Mesa, Arizona, contacted the non-profit organization Save the Family in order to find out more about their work.
As we started a new local campain in collaboration with local non-profit organizations from Arizona, we thought all of us could get them know better through a short interview.
Save the Family equips families to address poverty, overcome homelessness and achieve self-sufficiency. Find out what separates them from the rest, what motivates them the most in such an emotional work and think about if you can help.
Introduction: To begin with, we would like you to briefly tell us about your organization.
Save the Family equips families to address poverty, overcome homelessness, and achieve self sufficiency. We are proud to have been on the forefront of the fight to end family homelessness since 1988.
- What do you do exactly? And what was the reason that encouraged you to start this organization?
Well, I’m not the founder! But I’m proud to be part of our legacy; four Mesa businessmen were troubled by family homelessness in 1988 and together, purchased four homes to house four mothers with children, each fleeing domestic violence. This was the beginning of Save the Family. Fast forward: we served 655 families in FY 2016-2017, 65% of whom were single mothers. Today, the plight of family homelessness is worsened by the lack of affordable housing, another piece of the puzzle in the fight to help families achieve a lasting independence.
- What motivates you? Describe your passion.
On a personal level: engaging individuals and businesses to a level of awareness that stirs emotion for our cause and compels them to share their gifts and time in the form of donations and/or volunteering. Also, to spread the word through social media about our cause. As an agency, we are passionate about ending the stigma that surrounds homelessness; providing a refuge to those suffering from domestic violence; to provide support and stability to the adults and children we serve; to foster self sufficiency among our families; to be at the forefront of the fight to end homelessness among veteran families, a growing national trend.
- Tell us about your goals.
Our primary agency goals are to serve over 700 families for FY 2017-2018; to continue to secure a level of funding from government grants, private foundations, corporate giving and individual gifts to meet and sustain that goal.
- What was the hardest/toughest moment you had to deal with? Obstacles you faced when dealing with bureaucracy, permits, funding, etc. Something you would like to point out to anyone who might be starting their own organization.
Cuts in 2015/2016 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development; looming federal cuts to HUD today.
- What was the most fulfilling moment that happened to you?
Personally: watching our talent showcase at the 2017 Family Success Night. We enjoyed two acts:
1) kids in our after school program performed a fencing demonstration, learned through sponsored classes, 2) a 17 year old client played the viola. Both took place before an audience of almost 100, including city officials and members of our Board.
In both cases, Save the Family provided or secured the resources to make these performances available (example: we were able to get the second young man his first viola several years ago). We are proud to offer enriching outlets like these for our kids during difficult times (and show them off!).
- What separates you from the rest? Why you?
We believe our 3-tier approach of housing, case coordination and supportive services for clients at all three major levels of need – transitional housing (urgent need), rapid rehousing (a step-down program) or ARM (the Affordable Housing Movement for the working poor) – makes us unique. These critical supportive services, such as job club, parenting classes, and financial literacy, play a huge role in the success of our families regardless of their level of need within our program. Example: those working successfully in our ARM program can still benefit from classes as they strive to maintain self sufficiency.
- Do you have any upcoming events in the forthcoming months?
Holiday Sponsorship! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about adopting a family at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Also, our single biggest fundraiser of the year is Hearts of Gold, our annual gala. It will take place at the newly renovated JW Marriott Scottsdale on February 10th, 2018. Bring your Valentine! Email Maria Longley for more information:
- What is it that you love most about what you do?
Personally: stirring people’s emotions about what we do and who we serve.
- What is the biggest challenge you’re faced with today?
- Anything else you would like to add?
We treasure community partnerships of all sizes! From mega corporations to mom and pop businesses, there’s a place for involvement!
Contact: How can people reach out to you? Your organization’s name, phone, address, e-mail and links to your social media.
Save the Family Foundation of Arizona, 125 E University Dr, Mesa, AZ 85201