Since the highly visible Prescott-based Coalition for Compassion and Justice (CCJ) relocated to 531 Madison Avene, just southeast of the U.S. Post Office on Miller Valley, requests for its services have more than doubled.
With a primary mission of providing vital services, education and advocacy for those living in poverty, CCJ shifted its administrative and daily operations from the Prescott United Methodist Church (PUMC) to a 7,360 square-foot building now called the CCJ/Howard Mechanic Social Justice Center. Mechanic is a Prescott resident and community advocate who donated funds to purchase the building, said Paul Mitchell, CCJ executive director.
Services now available through the CCJ have expanded to include the following:
Dormitory-style lodging for 45 to 50 people per night, 365 days of the year, at the CCJ Center. Only men and women—no children—are allowed. Sleeping accommodations for women are separate. The cost is $3 a night.
Housing for qualified individuals and families in mobile home units and micro-living sleeping cottages in a program called “Second Chance Housing.” Cost depends on the facility.
Providing meals Tuesday through Friday at the café, open 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Now named Daily Bread Café, it was formerly called Open Door when it was located at PUMC. Now housed at the CCJ/Mechanic Social Center, it provides 85 to 100 meals Tuesdays through Fridays for men, women and children. It also distributes pantry items to be taken for home preparation.
The CCJ Thrift Store, located at 1034 Fair St. It is a convenient location for people to donate clothing, household goods, appliances and furniture or other serviceable items for a “second life.”
“The Little Treehouse,” located at PUMC campus on 505 Gurley St. It provides a safe haven where children can play safely while parents or family members work, or seek jobs, or have other warranted activities. Seasonal activities also are scheduled in that facility.
Two major challenges are ahead for the CCJ at this time, said Gail Haugland, CCJ assistance director.
“A major need we always have is finding housing for our clients,” she said. “Because we have expanded so significantly these past few years, we’re almost always behind in trying to find housing for those in need.”
Haugland added, “Our second need, of course, is mid-year funding. Our budget is now approaching $750,000 annually, mainly because we have added so many new programs to serve our clients and our community.”
She noted that since its founding 17 years ago by 15 different community congregations, the CCH has now increased to the point that it has six fulltime staff: herself, Executive Director Mitchell, Operations Supervisor Jessi Hans, Special Project Director Diane Iverson, Home Repair Coordinator Montana Morris and Second Chance Housing Coordinator Craig Hope.
For additional information, contact CCJ at 928-445-8382 or by visiting www.yavapaiccj.org.