$80K in funding for Apache Junction health, human services to be considered June 18

Apache Junction council members Christa Rizzi, Robert Schroeder and Robin Barker at a recent City Council meeting. (Arianna Grainey, Independent Newsmedia)

The Apache Junction Food Bank and Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley are to receive the bulk of this year’s $80,000 in health and human services funding from municipal coffers.

The Apache Junction City Council at a June 18 meeting is to vote in a consent agenda on awarding contracts to four agencies. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, 300 E. Superstition Blvd.

Funding to be considered is:

  • $24,500 for Apache Junction Food Bank, 575 N. Idaho Road No. 701, for emergency food for City of Apache Junction residents and continued funding for nutritional resources for those living below the poverty level.
  • $24,500 for Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley (Superstition Mountain Branch), 1755 N. Idaho Road, with the funds used for the academic success programs, Power Hour/Project Learn and educational enhancement programs, “Healthy Habits” and teen programs for City of Apache Junction residents.
  • $16,000 for Community Alliance Against Family Abuse, 879 N. Plaza Drive No. 101D, for intervention programs for families affected by domestic abuse to include: empowerment sessions, legal advocacy services and general advocacy services for City of Apache Junction residents.
  • $15,000 for Horizon Health and Wellness, 625 N. Plaza Drive, for its staff members to become trainers in SafeTalk and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, and to provide staffing to do community-based outreach and engagement of high-risk youth and their families for City of Apache Junction residents.

“Each one of the agencies that have applied for funds have done incredible work within our community,” Mary Erickson, a member of the Apache Junction Health and Human Services Commission, said at the June 4 City Council meeting.

“They are an extreme asset to the City of Apache Junction and the residents and I know that every penny that is allocated to these agencies will be benefiting our residents,” she said.

She explained the commission’s funding recommendations to the council at a work session the night before.

The city’s health and human services commission met twice to review the applications and interviewed all applicants, Deputy City Clerk Jennifer Pena said June 3.

A total of $148,000 in funding requests were received, with the commission coming up with the budgeted $80,000, she said.

Funding requests were: $75,000 from the Apache Junction Food Bank, $35,000 from the Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley, $18,000 from CAAFA and $20,000 from Horizon Health and Wellness, according to city records.

Councilmember Jeff Struble (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

Councilman Jeff Struble asked if the food bank is collaborating with other agencies to share resources and information on who is receiving the services.

“They did mention that they are working with other agencies and they also mentioned that they have a plan to collaborate in some educational life-skills-type of education, which is a new addition to what they offer when people come in for food —- that they’ll not just get a box handed, but maybe get additional information that can make them more self-sufficient,” Ms. Erickson said.

“There’s confidentiality that you have to worry about on this, but when a recipient of the food comes in, to somehow collaborate with the other agencies throughout that service … so that people aren’t taking advantage and taking the food away from someone else because they go to multiple places and get food,” Mr. Struble said.

The local homeless coalition has asked for intake information to be jointly shared with other agencies, Ms. Erickson said.

Editor Richard Dyer can be reached at rdyer@newszap.com

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