By Erika Coombs
Director at Stifel
Human Services Day provided us insight on the IMPACT of the many services provided by the City of Scottsdale and local organizations. Did you know?
- There are more than 5,000 volunteers in the City giving more than 31,000 hours each year, saving taxpayers’ money.
- There are seven Title I elementary schools, one middle school and one high school in the City. (For an entire school to qualify for Title I funds, at least 40% of students must enroll in the free and reduced lunch program.)
- The largest homeless population is single moms in their 20s with children under the age of ten.
- There are SIX centers in the City providing resources, including rent/mortgage assistance, financial coaching and educational workshops, classes and activities, special needs and needs assessment information and referral.
During our class day, we toured three centers: Vista del Camino Community Center, the Granite Reef Senior Center and the Adaptive Services Center. Below is a recap of each of our stops:
- We started at Vista del Camino, a one-stop career center and food bank. We heard about the Healthy Packs program that provides weekly food backpacks to 300-330 Scottsdale Unified School District students to make sure they have food over the weekend.
- Next, we went to the warehouse and used our muscles to pack 100 boxes of non-perishable food that will be used for emergency food boxes for families in need.
- Off we went to the Granite Reef Senior Center. We toured this award winning facility with a gym, art studio, billiard room, computer lab and group meeting spaces for adults 18 and older. We had a cafeteria-style lunch mingling with the seniors and heard from three seniors about how the center and programs have impacted their lives. Next, we learned about Family Promise, a non-profit that partners with churches to provide homeless families with a 60-day program that gives them skills to get back on their feet; family pets are welcome too! Lastly, we learned about the Scottsdale Family Advocacy Center that has benefited from Scottsdale Leadership’s Project Lead It Forward.
- Our final stop was the Adaptive Services Center that meets the needs of our disabled community. The Center had more than 12,000 visits last year. We learned that Scottsdale Leadership classes assisted in creating the multi-sensory room and the backyard. We also toured their accessible kitchen that is used for cooking classes. This kitchen has special features like oven doors that open from the side and cook tops that shut off automatically. We also participated in a drawing game with students. And you can’t forget — GO BOBCATS who will join the US Special Olympics in multiple sports, including flag football in Seattle in 2018!
We saw the critical role volunteers play in supporting the City’s mission of serving and being a world-class community. Many of us were inspired to volunteer with the City and its non-profit partners!