UCP of Southern Arizona (UCPSA) is expanding its Green Valley services, adding programs to provide competitive employment support for people with disabilities and skilled caregivers for attendant care, respite for foster parents and guardians, habilitation, housekeeping and other quality-of-life enhancements.
UCPSA Chief Operating Officer Rhonda Murray says the agency hopes to serve 500 people by 2024 in the Green Valley area, where the cozy, inviting office opened five years ago and now serves 200 with a director, trainer, two case managers, and receptionist.
“We’re here to stay in Green Valley,” Murray says. “We want to be fully immersed in the community. We’re looking for those Green Valley community partners to be resources for those people we serve as well. We’re adding more staff and more administrative staff in Green Valley because we anticipate growth there.”
The agency is adding its Workability program, which provides an on-site job coach to help people with disabilities succeed at public jobs in collaboration with employers, and Ascend, which provides professional, individualized services at home for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.
“We seek to support every individual and family,” says Crisann Black, a longtime leader in helping local people with disabilities who recently joined the Green Valley office to develop new client relationships and recruit workers. “Many people don’t realize they qualify to receive services.”
The agency also cares for its caregivers, providing best-practice training and creating a collegial work environment. It recently held a staff holiday party at Triple Play restaurant in Green Valley.
“It’s a hard job,” Black says. “Years ago, being a caregiver was a career. We want to revitalize that and grow by thinking outside the box, I think UCP is incredible for that.”
UCPSA is an affiliate of national UCP Washington, which organized as United Cerebral Palsy in 1942 and now serves a vast range of people with disabilities, including autism, Alzheimer's, and those who are limited because of illness such as heart attack or stroke.
The agency, with offices in Tucson and Yuma as well as Green Valley, serves more than 1,000 people and has more than 1,000 mostly part-time employees. It accepts clients from Pima Council on Aging. UCPSA contracts with the Department of Developmental Disabilities, Mercy Care, Banner, and Arizona Complete Health as well as private-paying clients.
Murray expects to add more services to Green Valley, including respite for people who provide foster care with workers who are skilled with working with the children.
“That’s the beauty of being a nonprofit,” she says. “We can say we want to do this because it’s the right thing to do, not because we’re going to make a profit on it. We go above and beyond what we’re contracted for.”
For more information, contact UCPSA Regional Director Sergio Molina, at the Green Valley office, (520) 374-6950, or firstname.lastname@example.org.