Compass Affordable Housing has a comprehensive Tenant Services division that delivers much needed support at the properties we own. Among them is a project called “Your Healthy Home Market” (YHHM).
YHHM addresses the effects of food poverty experienced by the households we serve and those from the surrounding communities. It is a volunteer run market staffed by tenants and community members. The market enables low-income households to increase food security, access nutritious food, improve diets, and learn about dietary habits that affect their wellbeing. Three times each month Your Healthy Home Market delivers 600-1500 pounds of fresh food (each time) that includes proteins, vegetables, grains, fruits, breads, plants and herbs, and harvested produce from the Alvord Court Community Garden. Local partners provide educational sessions that range from learning about produce, budgeting for food, food and health, cooking techniques, etc. After the class tenants and community members “shop” for food at no cost to them.
The Market is supported by tenant volunteers, vegetables grown in the Alvord Court Community Garden, and collaborating partners such as Gap Ministries, the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Program and professionals from the community. Community education sessions include information about the produce on hand, budgeting, food and health, and cooking techniques. Here are some pictures of our most recent Your Healthy Home Market being set up to serve our tenants at Tucson House and Glenstone. We love what we do at Compass Affordable Housing!
For questions about donating to Compass Affordable Housing, please call 520-627-1956.
On May 24th, Compass Affordable Housing hosted 19 women from Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Columbia, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica.
Sponsored by the University of Arizona’s Center for Latin American Studies these young women are enrolled through the Study of US Institutes (SUSI).
The SUSI grant for Indigenous and Afro-Descendent Women Leaders hosts 40 university student women leaders from Latin America every year. These young women are students of medicine, architecture, engineering, law, etc.
They were serenaded by a mariachi band of students from Tucson and spent the morning with us.
We discussed leadership, social services, poverty, food, housing issues in all of the countries and how activism can make a difference. It was an inspiring and heartwarming event for everyone.
Thank you SUSI for the opportunity!
Arizona provides tax credits for individuals who make contributions to Qualifying Charitable Organizations (QCO). Any charitable contribution of any amount up to $400 or $800 made to Compass Affordable Housing may qualify the donor for an Arizona Tax Credit.
For purposes of your tax return, our QCO code is 20341.
Donations do not have to be designated as “tax credit ”donations in order to qualify for this benefit. Eligible contributions made on or before April 15 following the close of the taxable year may
be applied to either the current or preceding taxable year.
More information is available at the AZ Department of Revenue website.
If you have chosen to make your tax credit donation to CAH this year, THANK YOU! Please consult your tax advisor for any questions related to using this donation as a charitable tax credit.
Plan to join us. Tell your friends and family about Compass Affordable Housing. This is a great way to support our programs by bidding on our items. They will be ready to go home with you by February 14th just in time for that special person(s) in your life.
Our 2020-2021 Annual Report is now available.
Most of us have easy access to and the means to afford fresh fruits and vegetables, which is fortunate because they contain important vitamins, minerals and plant nutrients. We know that a diet high in fruit and vegetables can help protect against cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other ailments.
Unfortunately, low-income households do not always have the means to add these healthy options to their diets. As a result, their consumption of fruits and vegetables are often far below the daily recommendations for adults and children. Many factors create this disparity, most especially access, availability and cost. For many, the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables is just too high for their budget. Others may have to walk or ride the bus to get groceries, so they scrape by on the bare minimums. For yet others, the only stores nearby are convenience stores, so they have no access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Therefore, while most of us take a trip to a well-stocked grocery store for granted, for many Tucsonans that is a luxury.
The lack of consumption is affected by many factors, including access, availability, cost, convenience, and perishability. Cost is of higher importance to low-income Americans than the rest of the population and they buy only what they can afford. This does have a negative effect on the health of low-income adults and children. While most of us take a trip to the grocery store for granted, for many low-income Tucson residents, purchasing fresh broccoli or a head of lettuce can mean a half-day journey or, sometimes, may not even be possible at all.
Our solution at Compass Affordable Housing (CAH) was to bring the market to our tenants and implement Your Healthy Home Market (YHHM), where up to 3,000 pounds of fruits, vegetables and other perishables are delivered to tenants every month. Under the program, we deliver fresh vegetables, fruit, grains, proteins, beans and other fresh food directly to tenants living in our low-cost apartment communities where tenant volunteers run a “market” to distribute the food at no cost to them. Tenants also unload trucks, set up the market, handle distribution and clean up afterward. In addition to weekly deliveries, the market is supplemented by produce from the large vegetable garden located at Compass Affordable Housing’s Alvord Court Apartments, which provides housing for persons with a variety of physical and mental disabilities.
Each “Market Day” YHHM opens with a class taught by a nutritionist or specialist who talks with residents about preparing and storing produce, monthly budgeting, food and health, cooking techniques, food combining, meal planning, and recipes. After the class, tenants then “shop” for food.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the market had to close temporarily, but the vegetables did not go to waste. Instead, CAH staff delivered food door-to-door to CAH tenants and started delivering to other agencies needing food. Produce not distributed to CAH tenants was delivered to local not-for-profit homeless shelters, street outreach centers, a local soup kitchen and a school for homeless youth. We continue to make these deliveries.
Over 52% of CAH tenants actively participate in Your Healthy Home Market. In addition to fighting hunger and bringing healthy food close to home, tenants volunteer in other CAH services as well. Twenty two percent have completed financial literacy, employment and/or public benefit support activities, 25.5% received other support services and referrals and 20.1% volunteered for other community activities. Since starting YHHM CAH has observed increased tenant involvement in program/social activities/events, volunteering, and social engagement. The business center and employment readiness services were also more widely utilized.
Although the food is free to low-income households, we do incur expenses for food, transportation, drivers, supplies and oversight. Compass Affordable Housing depends upon private donations to support Your Healthy Home Market and its operations.
Please donate today! Your summer donation to Compass Affordable Housing’s Your Healthy Home Market is tax deductible and it does so much more than help with expenses, it feeds people. That is what is important and I thank you for help.
Maryann Beerling, CEO
Our Contact Information:
Compass Affordable Housing, Inc.
48 N Tucson Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85716
Our June 2021 Newsletter is now available.
Your Healthy Home Market (YHHM) is a volunteer and tenant run market that enables low-income households to increase food security, access nutritious food, improve diets, and learn about dietary habits that affect their well-being. Typically, three times each month Your Healthy Home Market delivers 800-2,000 pounds of fresh food (each time) that includes proteins, vegetables, grains, fruits, breads, plants and herbs, and harvested produce from the Alvord Court Community Garden. Local partners provide educational sessions that range from learning about produce, budgeting for food, food and health, cooking techniques, etc. After the mandatory class, low-income tenants and low-income community members “shop” for food at no cost to them. The frequency of our tenant’s participation has been well over 500 times per year.
While COVID-19 prevents the regular YHHM programming, having nutritious food has become even more important for low-income households. YHHM continues to operate during the pandemic, supplying food to tenants at each location who rely upon the Market to supplement their food supplies. Additionally, knowing that food scarcity is pressuring other service organizations as well, YHHM now also delivers to community partners who are also challenged with serving people in need during the pandemic.
Along with CAH-owned housing units, during COVID-19, YHHM’s broad reach includes:
• Casa Maria Soup Kitchen, serving the poor and homeless in South Tucson;
• Community Partners, Inc. food for low-income and formerly homeless persons with mental illness;
• Tucson Preparatory High School, serving low-income youth;
• Crossroads Adult Care Homes, serving food for frail and elderly adults in assisted living;
• Pima County Street Outreach to homeless persons, and
• Sister Jose Women’s Center, serving homeless women in shelter.
YHHM is bridging the need for healthy, fresh, nutritious food within its housing communities and in targeted sites in the community serving those most in need.
Compass Affordable Housing
48 N Tucson Blvd. #102
Tucson, AZ 85716