The Situation in Maricopa County
667,000 people in Maricopa County live in poverty – 1 in 3 are children.
- Poverty for a family of 4 means living on $24,000 or less per year.
- Neighborhoods with high poverty rates may not have the resources necessary to address the most important problems in their community.
- Sometimes when neighborhoods are given help, it isn’t with the support that fits the specific situation.
The Solution: Community Empowerment
By centering the needs of the residents and forming a shared ownership on projects, we work together with leaders in the community to learn more about the area. Once we learn the greatest needs, we get to work co-creating the best solution to the pain points the community is facing. We identify and train community influencers, called promotores, who act as a resource to their neighbors, connecting them to the right support. After implementation, we remain connected to ensure the neighborhood has support they need to continue building a stronger community.
“There are many community members that need help. But there’s no communication between them. We, as promotores, can say, ‘Okay, let’s figure out these problems.'”
- Cesar, Maryvale promotor
Together, we can break the cycle of poverty
- Recruited 24 new promotores
- 5 new/rehabilitated gardens
- Maintained 15 gardens
- Trained 50 gardeners
- 66 Wise Choices Trainer graduates
- 120 Wise Choices Community participants
- Expand to a 4th neighborhood served by Roosevelt School District in South Phoenix
How Can I Help?
Support a Garden
With your gift, we can bring community gardens into neighborhoods to provide a simple way to make healthy eating easy. We will train community members to become garden experts helping them keep produce healthy and growing throughout the seasons and offer support after the installation. Donate to help empower neighborhoods and end hunger.
Fund a Promotora
Help neighborhoods gain a promotora, also known as a community health advocate, by supporting the training of community leaders. With promotoras in neighborhoods, residents have access to a trusted and knowledgeable person to help them find the right resources for their personal situation. Contact Vicki Fiorelli at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available to support our community. We are currently focusing on projects in Maryvale, Central City, and Guadalupe.
Visit vsuw.org/volunteer to learn more.