Up until 1996 several independent agencies in Catalina attempted to provide services to local families in need.
In 1996 the Catalina Village Council was called upon by Pima County to solve the many health and welfare problems of the community. A Community Development Building Grant (CDBG) was awarded to the Council for a building, with the County funding operational costs for a new center. A location was found on Golder Ranch Road.
In 2001, the Village Council spun off the center and created the Catalina Community Resource Center (CCRC). This allowed residents outside of Catalina to be on the Board, and thus bring in more management talent, and make it a more efficient business entity.
Catalina Community Resource Center and Catalina Helping Hands merged to form Catalina Community Services to better serve the residents of Catalina and to present to the county a unified health and welfare agency.
In order to fund the many programs of Catalina Community Services, in 2003 the Golden Goose Thrift Shop in Catalina was established. It was jointly created by Catalina Community Services and SaddleBrooke Community Outreach. The initial objectives for Catalina Community Services were to provide food packages, meals and clothing.
We moved into our new building on Hawser Street in 2011. Demand is continuously growing, serving more than 750 families in 2012. As this demand grows new programs are established, mainly addressing educational and social needs.
Many of the programs have been designed to help people improve their lives, rather than merely exist on an emergency assistance level. Over time we have expanded to neighboring communities geographically as well as offered a number of services and programs to help residents in Oro Valley, SaddleBrooke, and southeastern Pinal County. We provide parenting classes, money management workshops, and teach people how to repair credit and live within budgets. Through our job resource center people get help improving their resumes,making connections with local employers, and receive job interview tips. Our adult literacy/ESL classes also help make people more employable. Plans are underway to open a community computer lab and expanded job resource center.
In 2012 we were asked by a group of citizens to also provide services to the Greater Vail community. We opened an office in Old Vail Station in February 2013 and are currently offering a food bank and programs for seniors, with plans to bring all of our other programs and community outreach to the Greater Vail area over time.
In the spring of 2014 we changed our name to IMPACT of Southern Arizona to better reflect our services and geographic area served.
Our community clothing bank is also growing and has a new name: Loving Threads. We recently moved to a new, larger location in the Catalina Pointe Plaza, 15920 N Oracle Rd. Suite 150. Our goal is beyond providing needed clothing. The program is intended to free up income that would otherwise be spent on garments, helping people afford to pay for groceries, utility bills, fuel, and rent. Reducing stress for the individual allows them to better focus on solving other issues in their lives and helping to provide family stability.
At the end of this year, we will also be expanding our senior programs and teaching better nutrition through cooking classes in our new commercial kitchen space and senior center located several doors down from Loving Threads Community Clothing Bank.