Mesa United Way Launches Azura to Help Arizonans Experiencing Poverty
By Lindsay Hansen -
Tuesday Oct 10, 2023
Mesa United Way has been serving the Mesa community for 100 years with a host of programs aimed at helping the most vulnerable with issues such as health, education, and financial stability. Today, they are pleased to announce the formation of a second nonprofit called Azura, which will offer preventative solutions to address the effects of poverty.
“Over the last several years, the need for our programs have grown,” said Mark Young, president and CEO, Mesa United Way and Azura. “Our clients now span the Valley and Azura will provide us with new opportunities to expand. We have plans to open two new foster care homes for youth who have aged out of foster care by the end of 2023. It’s an exciting time for our organization!”
Did you know approximately 40% of young adults become homeless within two years of leaving foster care? Or that people who dropout of high school are twice as likely to live in poverty? Azura wants to improve those statistics and plans to focus on finding solutions for generational poverty and understanding the systemic inequities that have been upheld for centuries.
Their programs will be able to serve Arizonans throughout the state:
· Helen’s Hope Chest – a boutique for foster and kinship families and children to obtain clothing and necessities.
· VITA program - expert tax-preparation services free of change to low- and moderate-income households.
· AZURA Literacy (formerly 12 Books) – an initiative to improve literacy among Title I elementary students and provide a free mentoring reading program.
· AZURA Veterans Coalition (formerly Mesa Veterans Resource Center) – provides job training, benefits counseling, and extensive case management to those who served our country.
· Foster360 – gives housing, trauma care, and life coaching for aged-out foster youth.
Azura is researching innovative ways for people to ascend from poverty and will soon be creating a Poverty Alliance pilot program for a small group of single mothers.
“We want to collaborate with other innovative and cutting-edge organizations by providing nonprofit venture capital,” said Young. “We also want to explore timely issues in our state like the growing number of homeless seniors, the lack of affordable housing, and support groups for foster families. Basically, we want to be nimble and help whenever the community needs us most.”
As part of their nonprofit incubator, Azura envisions helping other nonprofits by providing services to allow them to thrive and make a difference in the community. From coaching to logistical support to accounting to fiscal agency, Azura is committed to empowering the next generation of nonprofits.
Mesa United Way will continue to run workplace campaigns with Mesa companies that want to invest in helping the community and alleviating poverty.
Founded in 2023, Azura believes that poverty is the root cause of almost every social problem in our world. Our goal is to end the cycle of poverty for Arizonans, so they have a brighter future. Our programs focus on supporting foster care and kinship families, providing tax preparation services, improving literacy at low-income schools, helping veterans, and offering housing for aged out foster youth. To donate, volunteer, or learn more, visit: https://www.azuracares.org.
About Mesa United Way
Founded in 1912, Mesa United Way has operated under several names. Their mission has always been to help the community’s most vulnerable through a variety of programs focused on health, education, and financial stability. Mesa United Way raises money and provides assistance within the City of Mesa. The nonprofit manages workplace campaigns for companies in Mesa that want to invest in helping the community and alleviating poverty. To donate, volunteer, or learn more, visit: http://www.mesaunitedway.org.