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Neighborhood Vision Becoming a Next-Generation Revitalization Realityhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/ced/1573Community and Economic Development10/16/2020 5:15:00 PMhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newssite/Lists/NewsArticle/Attachments/1573/Newsroom_CED_0087.jpgNeighborhood Vision Becoming a Next-Generation Revitalization Reality<div class="ExternalClass8FD6B33640D448E085C93C0AE988899C"><html> <p style="text-align:center;"> <em>By Eric Jay Toll for the PhxNewsroom</em> </p> <p>The parking lot is bustling, as cars jostle for a position after turning in from 27th or Northern avenues. Pedestrians, families and students angle their way onto the 10-acre property on Northern Avenue just off Interstate 17. Revamped streetscape, sidewalks and bike lanes are active for those enjoying neighborhood walkability.</p> <p>Jeff Spellman and Gabe Saia stand at the corner, looking at the results of community effort. They’re looking at an artifact of ancient big-box retail. Now it shines as a community beacon, a catalyst bringing jobs, training and education to a stabilizing, thriving neighborhood.</p> <p>Incubator filled with community-born fledgling businesses. Check.</p> <p>Resources for business support and success. Check.</p> <p>Multiple local paths to careers through training and education. Check.</p> <p>Job creation aligned with the community next door. Check.</p> <p>A tangible sense of place that a neighborhood wanted. Check.</p> <p>It all means check marks on the “27th Avenue To-Do List” with the food innovation, education and job training center that opens in Fall 2021. Spellman and Saia see what happens when a neighborhood pumps ideas into adapting an old building for new uses to serve the community. </p> <p> <strong style="font-size:24px;">A Family Investing in their Neighborhood’s Future</strong> </p> <p>“When our family bought the Kmart (2526 W. Northern Ave., Phoenix) in 2003, we knew the retailer’s days were numbered,” said Saia, property owner and member of Saia Family Limited Partnership. “At I-17 and Northern, it has good visibility and access. It is good dirt. We always believed it could be reused to a higher and better use than a retail department store and serve our community.”</p> <p>It’s also what happens when diverse neighborhood groups list what the community needs for the future. The loose association formed several years ago for the Phoenix Police VIP Coalition Action Plan. The program, which included strategic planning, among other goals, was designed to support neighborhood and business revitalization efforts. The Police Department’s VIP program was the foundation for creating this neighborhood-driven sense of place. </p> <p>Saia said the family couldn’t believe the retailer lasted until October 2018. Then it closed, and it was time to turn the investment.</p> <p>“I was getting calls from storage companies wanting to convert the 118,000-square-foot building into self-storage,” Saia said. “It just didn’t seem like converting from a retail store to self-storage would benefit the community. We didn’t have any ideas, though. Home Depot, Lowes, other big box stores said the location was good but that the big box store was no longer in demand. Then Jeff called.”</p> <p> <strong style="font-size:24px;">The Community as the Visionaries</strong> </p> <p>Spellman has been a community activist in the 27th Avenue Corridor for 25 years. He and other like-minded neighborhood groups see the area as riddled with opportunities waiting to happen.</p> <p>“I saw the real estate signs and called the number,” Spellman said. “I was surprised when the owner answered it.”</p> <p>Saia said that the first conversation started a series of meetings and calls leading to the community-driven concept: food innovation, education, startup and training center. </p> <p>“There were no ‘aha’ moments,” the owner said. “Jeff and I talked, the community had ideas, and then Winco was interested in the site.”</p> <p>The Idaho-based discount grocery chain liked the location, the tens of thousands of families nearby, and the community support for a discount food store. Spellman and neighborhood leaders were excited.</p> <p>“It’s what was wanted,” Saia said. “Winco was the perfect tenant, and we worked to close the deal.”</p> <p>Great location, everyone agreed. Plus, right next door to the 10.5-acre Black Canyon Shopping Center is Washington Elementary School. Winco may have been the perfect tenant, and the community wanted the store, but proximity to the school was a roadblock. It meant no liquor sales.</p> <p>“Grocery stores cannot survive without liquor sales,” said Saia. “The Winco deal fell through.”</p> <p>That community disappointment brought out the thinking caps.</p> <p>“Things just sort of evolved after that,” said Spellman.</p> <p> <strong style="font-size:24px;">The Five-Mile Vibe</strong> </p> <p>Joining the conversation, Washington Elementary School District Superintendent Paul Stanton told community leaders that the area's biggest challenge was a lack of stability. Some said that families seemed to be passing through instead of settling down.<br></p> <p> <img src="/econdevsite/MediaAssets/EconomyUpdate/27TH-AVENUE-20201016-Washington-Elementary-School-03.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:495px;" /> <br> </p> <p> <em>Washington Elementary School on 27th Avenue. </em>Image by City of Phoenix.<br></p> <p>“I grew up in this neighborhood. This is home. I wanted families living here to have the same opportunities for their kids as I did,” said Stanton. “It’s a matter of opening doors and giving opportunities. Kids can go after their oyster, and they can do most of it right here.”</p> <p>Times changed, and the feeling is that families do not believe the area offers a long-term future.</p> <p>“Dr. Stanton told us that the ability of students to see a path to success was crucial to turning the area into a desirable neighborhood,” said Saia. </p> <p>“We wanted to have open doors to high-paying opportunities, support for kids’ entrepreneur spirits, and even ways their parents could retool to better jobs with long-term prospects,” Stanton said. “It’s the five-mile vibe. Many young people settle as adults within five miles of where they grew up. I want their parents to set roots, so the kids want to come back and bring us a new generation close to family.”</p> <p>Spellman picks up the thread, “The idea of a community center with business startup resources, training, education opportunities and career certifications started to jell. We went to (Phoenix Planning and Development Director) Alan Stephenson with the idea and the question, ‘how do we make this work?’”</p> <p>“Jeff and others came to me with hopes for a broad community plan,” said Stephenson. “We worked with the to narrow the focus to what was most important. That resulted in helping them with the 27th Avenue To-Do List.”</p> <p>Stephenson and the Phoenix Planning & Development staff helped put the critical points into a flyer Spellman and others use to show what needs to be accomplished. This came about as a new council member was representing District 5.</p> <p>It wasn’t long after that District 5 City Council candidate and now Phoenix Vice Mayor, Betty Guardado, started hearing about the center during her office campaign in 2019.</p> <p>“Jeff (Spellman) came to me and told me about the project and the 27th Avenue To-Do List,” she said. “When I was elected (this project) was my very first meeting. It’s number one on my district priority list.”</p> <p> <strong style="font-size:24px;">The 48-Hour Difference</strong> </p> <p>“(Vice Mayor) Guardado was instrumental in connecting us with city resources and brought (Phoenix Community and Economic Development Director) Christine Mackay into the process,” recalls Spellman.</p> <p>Mackay chuckles at the recollection of the first meeting with the group, “I told them this needed some real thought; on the surface, I thought it just wasn’t feasible: Wrong building. Wrong location. Wrong project. I asked the group to give me the weekend.”</p> <p>Those 48 hours were game changers for the project and what it means. </p> <p>“This isn’t just something that will help a neighborhood,” said Mackay. “It’s a turning point for the city and is a global model for the future of the workforce.”</p> <p>The 27th Avenue center is not just a cutting-edge concept; it’s a next-generation development.</p> <p>“This is a project where adaptive reuse, community revitalization and the workforce of the future collide,” said Mackay. “Even now, while we’re locking down the deal, the idea is inspiring to developers looking at nearby Metrocenter and the whole I-17 employment corridor. A ‘next-gen’ development like this meets tomorrow’s workforce needs right now.”</p> <p> <strong style="font-size:24px;">A Steppingstone to Tomorrow</strong> </p> <p>Vice Mayor Guardado sees the 27th Avenue center as a significant steppingstone for changing the community. </p> <p>“In this area, families may not be able to afford to send their children to college,” she said. “We needed to offer a different path to training and education. With the center, we have found a long-term opportunity for the community.”</p> <p>Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego sees the project as a model usable elsewhere in the city.</p> <p>“This Innovation Center is a welcome revitalization to the current property and the neighborhoods around it. The community advocated for their vision to create an innovative center that will provide jobs and education training, and I am proud of the action we are taking to address those needs,” said the mayor. “Our city is continually maturing, changing, and looking ahead. This project highlights the very best of Phoenix.”</p> <p>Mackay believes that the challenge of revitalization is finding the visionary who wants to be first. “In this situation, the community is the visionary,” said Mackay. “It is their passion for this project that makes it not just viable for the neighborhood, but something that benefits the entire city.”</p> <p>Bringing the 27th Avenue center to fruition required the landowner to share the community’s passion.</p> <p>“The vision of potential buyers just doesn’t fit with the neighborhood,” said Saia. “I just didn’t see 118,000 square feet of storage with a couple of employees being helpful to the neighborhood over the long term. I wanted something that would be there 10, even 20 years down the road.”</p> <p> <strong style="font-size:24px;">Revitalization Without Gentrification</strong> </p> <p>“Many neighborhoods revitalize through gentrification,” said Stanton, referring to the process where edge areas are revitalized by new families moving in for well-priced housing, renovating homes, and raising prices. Actions that force out long-time families out of the neighborhood. “I wanted to revitalize my community by showing today’s kids; there is a future right here in the neighborhood. It’s all about opening doors.”</p> <p>“Gabe told me he didn’t know what his family wanted to do with the property, but that they wanted it to be something meaningful for the long term,” said Spellman. “So, we started talking.”</p> <p>The timing couldn’t have been better. It was 2019, and Kmart shut its doors a year earlier. The neighborhood groups behind the Phoenix Police VIP program decided it was time to do something different.</p> <p>“It was time to stop playing ‘Whack-a-Mole,’” said Spellman. “We were constantly trying to stop problems, but problems would go away and return. It was time to start looking ahead to something positive.”</p> <p>The newly-elected councilwoman for District 5 shared that passion.</p> <p>“This was something that is a real resource to the community,” she said. “It’s a catalyst to more housing. The center is an opportunity to bring everyone together under a roof to teach, live, and be part of this community.”</p> <p> <strong style="font-size:24px;">Nothing's Stopping the Momentum</strong> <br> </p> <p>The momentum was starting to build. The idea of merely offering food innovation centers with associated job-training, business startup incubation, and lifelong learning turned into a community-revitalization center.</p> <p>“It had to be something to be an aspiration for today’s students, said Stanton. “I like the idea of a student walking out of Washington Elementary School looking at this building and knowing that whatever they want, the opportunity is in this building, in their neighborhood. This is what’s going to turn us around. I want kids to go to school here to come back to raise a family and send their kids to school here.”</p> <p>“We changed the marketing effort,” Mackay said. “Instead of highlighting a vacant building, we started talking as if the center were open and serving the neighborhood. We talked about the tenants, the creative ways to finance the project, and how its opportunities would be a magnet to economic development throughout the whole I-17 corridor.”</p> <p>Dr. Stanton’s doors to the future envision a one-stop center open for certificates, training, and degrees from West-MEC, Maricopa Community Colleges and Arizona State University. The community had an even broader vision.</p> <p> <strong style="font-size:24px;">‘Ghost Kitchen’ on Steroids</strong> </p> <p> <em></em> <img src="/econdevsite/MediaAssets/EconomyUpdate/27TH-AVENUE-20201016-Future-Ghost-Kitchen.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:495px;" /> </p> <p> <em>A 10,000-square-foot outlier will be expanded to 25,000 square feet to become the ghost kitchen. </em>Image by City of Phoenix.<br></p> <p>Across the country, “ghost” kitchens were starting to appear. No one is making Halloween treats—well, they might. The ghost kitchen is like a shared workspace for restaurants and food companies. Owners rent micro kitchens from which they prepare meals for delivery or take out. There is no dining room. Multiple restaurants will use portions of the same kitchen.</p> <p>The ghost kitchen provides jobs, training opportunities, restaurant startup potential, and a place for making food products to package for resale. The neighborhood envisioned it taking most of the square footage in the old retail building. Many ideas were floating about. It made finding focus like nailing Jell-O to the wall.</p> <p>The task to find form and substance was assigned to Maricopa Community Colleges and consultant Russ Yelton. </p> <p>“The cost of creating a ghost kitchen inside the big box was extremely expensive,” said Yelton, president of Yelton and Associates. “It would take more than a third of the $15 million budget to accommodate just the plumbing and exhaust vents. That price doesn’t even include the kitchen equipment.”</p> <p> <strong style="font-size:24px;">Every Bump a New Opportunity</strong> </p> <p>With momentum growing for the 27th Avenue center, every bump in the road turned into a new opportunity. Saia owns an adjoining parcel with a 10,000 square-foot building. More efficiency came from moving from the ghost kitchen into the outlying building. The outlier building will be more than doubled in size to around 25,000 square feet.</p> <p>“What the community has put together here is the trendy food innovation center on steroids,” Yelton said. “The center is a central part of the neighborhood and will keep kids here when they finish high school.”</p> <p>Mackay says that the overall program and facility are ways of creating the workforce of the future. Vice Mayor Guardado believes the center will have something for everyone. Saia, the owner, feels the 27th Avenue center is the kind of legacy his family wants for the area.</p> <p>“We’re going to have pathways for everyone,” said Yelton. “With high school technical training, certification programs, associate and bachelor degree programs, the center will be an opportunity for lifelong opportunity.”</p> <p>Dr. Stanton said that the focus is on providing kids choices for long-term, forecastable careers and jobs.</p> <p>“Something will be here, so they will want to stay in the neighborhood and bring a new and younger generation,” he said. “This adds 30 to 40 years of generational stability. But it’s not just for the kids. Parents who want to retool into new careers will also be users of the center.”</p> <p> <strong style="font-size:24px;">A Natural Partnership, An Unlimited Future</strong> </p> <p>Providing the education opportunities is a natural for West-MEC, MCC and ASU. The three higher education organizations are ironing out their combined roles of training the next generation of workforce and providing opportunities to grow the current workforce into retooled careers.</p> <p>“The ghost kitchen fits right into this,” Yelton said. “We’re paving an education pathway that provides opportunities for new restaurants to open without the substantial expenses of a dining room. It also provides job opportunities for the neighborhood.”</p> <p>“It’s my hope that the three schools will offer training and education in sectors with good career opportunities 10 to 15 years down the road,” Stanton said. “I can see that the student could start down one road, and changes in the economy or business allows them to retool into a new career. Their parents can get advanced training now or retool into a new career.”</p> <p>Mackay says that the 27th Avenue center is the way to grow jobs for the city. With the various programs under one roof, the adaptive facility covers all spectrums of education and community growth.</p> <p>“Having this type of resource to help businesses form says to the owners, ‘it’s okay to try and fail, and we can help you try and succeed again,’” she said. “The more you think about the possibilities the center creates, the more passionate everyone is becoming to get across the finish line.”</p> <p>Guardado and Mackay are confident that November will be a significant milestone for the project.</p> <p> <img src="/econdevsite/MediaAssets/EconomyUpdate/27TH-AVENUE-20201016-Washington-Elementary-School-02.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:495px;" /> <br> <em></em>Image by City of Phoenix.​<br></p> </html></div>https://www.phoenix.gov/econdevNewscedvacant big box department store buildingCED#District5 #economicdevelopment #revitalization #27thAvenuephoenix. economic development, washington elementary school district, washington elementary school, 27th Avenue To Do List, district 5, 27th avenue, adaptive reuse, economic revitalization, redevelopment, revitalization, gentrificationEric Jay Toll602-617-3797eric.toll@phoenix.govhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newssite/Lists/MediaContact/Attachments/52/Eric_Toll.jpgStephanie Bracken602-769-0717602-495-5405​​stephanie.bracken@phoenix.govhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newssite/Lists/MediaContact/Attachments/42/Stephanie_Bracken.jpgPHXEconDevA community vision for economic revitlization starts with the vacant big box at I-17 and Northern Avenue. Image: City of Phoenix

 

 

COVID-19 Information, Testing, Resources, and City Impactshttps://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/em-and-hs/1561Emergency Management & Homeland Security11/23/2020 4:00:00 PMhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newssite/Lists/NewsArticle/Attachments/1561/Newsroom_Combined.jpgCOVID-19 Information, Testing, Resources, and City Impacts<div class="ExternalClass2D948EBD491F49C48367073A5D934B4E"><html> <p>​<strong>We're in this together!</strong> Looking for help? Find information related to the COVID-19 pandemic on this page. Residents with questions about city services and programs are encouraged to call <strong>(602) 262-3111</strong> or e-mail <a href="mailto:contactus@phoenix.gov" target="_blank">contactus@phoenix.gov</a>​. ​​​​​​​​Phoenix small businesses needing help can call the Phoenix Community and Economic Development hotline at <strong>(602) 262-5040</strong>.</p> <h3>Phoenix Testing Blitz: Free COVID-19 Testing Events</h3> <p> <a href="/newsroom/em-and-hs/1399" target="_blank">Find upcoming testing dates and locations, either on-site or with Phoenix's Mobile Testing Van. Learn more.</a> <br></p> <h3>Phoenix Requires Face Coverings; Frequently Asked Questions</h3> <p> <a href="/newsroom/em-and-hs/1353" target="_blank">Face masks are still required in the City of Phoenix. Learn more.</a> <br> </p> <h3>City of Phoenix Impacted City Services Update</h3> <p> <a href="/newsroom/em-and-hs/1054" target="_blank">Learn what's impacted with current city services. Learn more.</a> <br> </p> <h3>Coronavirus Business & Resident Resources </h3> <p> <a href="/resources" target="_blank">Additional resources for Phoenix businesses, the workforce, and residents relating to COVID-19. Learn more.</a> <br> </p> <h3>Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Strategic Plan</h3> <p> <a href="/COVIDrelief" target="_blank">Information and updates on the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Strategic Plan funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Learn more.</a> <br> </p> <h3>Special Events More Than 50 People </h3> <p> <a href="/citymanager/specialevent" target="_blank">Help slow the spread of COVID-19! Download application to host a Special Event of more than 50 people in Phoenix. Learn more.</a> </p> </html></div>https://www.phoenix.gov/emergencyNews
Phoenix Testing Blitz: Free COVID-19 Testing Eventshttps://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/em-and-hs/1399Emergency Management & Homeland Security11/25/2020 9:00:00 PMhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newssite/Lists/NewsArticle/Attachments/1399/Newsroom_Virus_Testing.jpgPhoenix Testing Blitz: Free COVID-19 Testing Events<div class="ExternalClass00C3B262EEE942D9AB34BAE97FCDCB99"><html> <p>Community partners are holding free COVID-19 testing sites on select dates. Pre-registration is required. Free to all community members. Mobile Testing Van Locations are listed below.<span style="color:rgb(191, 0, 113);text-decoration-style:solid;text-decoration-color:rgb(191, 0, 113);">​​</span></p><p><span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span><strong></strong><span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span><a target="_blank" href="/newsroom/em-and-hs/1561"><strong>Related:</strong> Find information related to the COVID-19 virus and City of Phoenix, including testing, resources, and city impacts. <strong>Visit the information page.</strong></a><br></p><span id="ms-rterangepaste-end"></span><span id="ms-rterangepaste-end"></span><span id="ms-rterangepaste-end"></span><h2 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:rgb(191, 0, 113);">COVID-19 Mobile Testing Van</span></h2><p style="text-align:center;">Free testing for everyone. The Mobile Testing Van offers viral and antibody tests with <strong>rapid results within 15 minutes</strong>. Testing is limited. Appointments required.<a target="_blank" href="/newsroom/public-works/1455"> Read about the City of Phoenix's Mobile Testing Van</a>.</p><div><span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span><span id="ms-rterangepaste-end"></span><span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span><span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span><span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span><span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span><h3>Monday, November 30, 2020</h3><p>Travis Williams Family Services Center<br>4732 S. Central Ave.Phoenix, AZ 85040<br>Council District 7<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a target="_blank" href="https://vincerecancer.com">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><h3>Tuesday, December 1, 2020</h3><p>Fry’s Food & Drug Stores<br>4230 W. McDowell Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85009<br>Council District 4<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a target="_blank" href="https://vincerecancer.com">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><h3>Thursday, December 3, 2020</h3><p>Fry’s Food & Drug Stores<br>1815 W. Glendale Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85021<br>Council District 5<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a target="_blank" href="https://vincerecancer.com">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><h3>Friday, December 4, 2020</h3><p>Conchos Elementary School<br>1718 W. Vineyard Rd.Phoenix, AZ 85041<br>Council District 8<br><span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span><span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. <span id="ms-rterangepaste-end"></span> Appointments required at: <a target="_blank" href="https://vincerecancer.com">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span><h3>Saturday, December 5, 2020</h3><p>Devonshire Community Center<br>2802 E. Devonshire Ave.Phoenix, AZ 85016<br>Council District 6<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a href="https://vincerecancer.com" target="_blank">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><h3>Sunday, December 6, 2020</h3><p>Cholla Library<br>10050 N. Metro Pkwy E. Phoenix, AZ 85051<br>Council District 1<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a href="https://vincerecancer.com" target="_blank">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><h3>Monday, December 7, 2020</h3><p>Ed Pastor Elementary School<br>2101 W. Alta Vista Rd.Phoenix, AZ 85041<br>Council District 8<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a href="https://vincerecancer.com" target="_blank">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><h3>Tuesday, December 8, 2020</h3><p>Fry’s Food Store<br>8325 W. Indian School Rd.Phoenix, AZ 85037<br>Council District 5<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a href="https://vincerecancer.com" target="_blank">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><h3>Thursday, December 10, 2020</h3><p>Fry’s Food Store<br>3511 W. Peoria Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85029<br>Council District 1<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a href="https://vincerecancer.com" target="_blank">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><h3>Friday, December 11, 2020</h3><p>Longview School<br>1209 E. Indian School Rd.Phoenix, AZ 85014<br>Council District 4<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a href="https://vincerecancer.com" target="_blank">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><h3>Saturday, December 12, 2020</h3><p>Mountain View Community Center<br>1104 E. GroversPhoenix, AZ 85022<br>Council Districts 2/3<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a href="https://vincerecancer.com" target="_blank">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><h3>Sunday, December 13, 2020</h3><p>D5<br>Washington Park<br>6655 N 23rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85015<br>Council District 5<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a href="https://vincerecancer.com" target="_blank">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><h3>Monday, December 14, 2020</h3><p>Valley View Elementary School<br>8220 S. 7th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85041<br>Council District 8<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a href="https://vincerecancer.com" target="_blank">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><h3>Tuesday, December 15, 2020</h3><p>Fry’s Food Store<br>4230 W. McDowell Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85009<br>Council District 4<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a href="https://vincerecancer.com" target="_blank">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><h3>Thursday, December 17, 2020</h3><p>Fry’s Food Store<br>1815 W. Glendale Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85021<br>Council District 5<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a href="https://vincerecancer.com" target="_blank">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><h3>Friday, December 18, 2020</h3><p>Irene Lopez Elementary School<br>4610 S. 12th St. Phoenix, AZ, 85040<br>Council District 8<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a href="https://vincerecancer.com" target="_blank">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><h3>Saturday, December 19, 2020</h3><p>Acacia Library<br>750 E. Townley Ave.<br>Council District 3<br>7:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Appointments required at: <a href="https://vincerecancer.com" target="_blank">https://vincerecancer.com</a></p><span id="ms-rterangepaste-end"></span><p> </p><h2 style="text-align:center;"><span style="color:rgb(191, 0, 113);">Drive-Thru Testing Sites</span></h2><h3>Saturday, November 28</h3><p>Trevor Browne High School<br>7:00 a.m. – Noon. Appointment encouraged at <a target="_blank" href="https://www.familytreehealthcare.com/">https://www.familytreehealthcare.com/</a></p><p>North High School<br>7:00 a.m. – Noon. Appointment encouraged at ​<a target="_blank" href="https://www.familytreehealthcare.com/">https://www.familytreehealthcare.com/</a></p><h3>Saturday, December 5</h3><p>Trevor Browne High School<br>7:00 a.m. – Noon. Appointment encouraged at <a target="_blank" href="https://www.familytreehealthcare.com/">https://www.familytreehealthcare.com/</a></p><p>North High School<br>7:00 a.m. – Noon. Appointment encouraged at  <a target="_blank" href="https://www.familytreehealthcare.com/">https://www.familytreehealthcare.com/</a></p><span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span><p>   </p><h4>Media Contact</h4><p>Tamra Ingersoll<br>Cell: (602) 376-3981<br>Email <a target="_blank" href="mailto:tamra.ingersoll@phoenix.gov">tamra.ingersoll@phoenix.gov</a></p></div> </html></div>https://www.phoenix.gov/emergencyNews
City of Phoenix Customer Service Reps Make Over 28,000 Calls to Help Customers During COVID-19 https://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/water-services/1639Water Services11/25/2020 9:00:00 PMhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newssite/Lists/NewsArticle/Attachments/1639/Newsroom_Water_042.pngCity of Phoenix Customer Service Reps Make Over 28,000 Calls to Help Customers During COVID-19 <div class="ExternalClass9E5456F8CFF945E0A188877150358222"><html> Customer service is often overlooked until it's needed. This year, the City of Phoenix City Services customer service was needed more than ever. Deborah Doss is the Treasury Collections Supervisor for Phoenix Water customer service and has been with the city for 16 years, 10 of those years have been with the Water Services Department.  <br><br>The majority of Doss' career has been in collections, working for a private company before she started with the city. She now leads a team of customer service representatives who work with customers to collect outstanding payment on their water, trash, and sewer (City Services) bill.<br><br>Prior to the ongoing pandemic, Doss, and her team of five customer service representatives' primary role was to collect payment on outstanding bills. When 2020 changed everything for everyone, Doss and her team transitioned to helping customers find financial relief through the CARES Act. <br><br> Customers are still encouraged to pay any amount possible towards their monthly bill, but with the CARES ACT, customers have options to help find some relief with outstanding payments. Doss' staff educates customers on the CARES Act and assists them with enrolling in payment plans, allowing customers to remain in good standing.  <br><br>The CARES Act appropriated $150 billion to State, Local and Tribal government to alleviate the financial impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. The City of Phoenix received a small portion of this funding. The money allotted to the city was made available to customers – through residential and commercial assistance programs - to pay their City Services bill in hopes of relieving stress for city of Phoenix customers. Doss' team took the lead on calling customers with outstanding accounts, to inform them of the dollars available and instructions on how to apply. <br><br>“People repeatedly call in and say they lost their job; they don't know what's going to happen and I'm here to help them" Doss said. “Customers are crying and scared. They don't know how they're going to get by, and our team is there to offer hope. We don't like to rush the calls." <br><br>“The work our customer service representatives are doing is essential in assuring the public health benefits of our water systems and solid waste disposal. Without it, the good work of Water Services and Public Works couldn't get done," said Assistant Director, Holly Rosenthal of Phoenix Water. <br><br>Doss and her team's dedication to getting the word out about the financial relief led to them make over 28,601 calls from July - October 2020. Doss' 'How can I help the customer?' attitude has come a long way in helping city of Phoenix customers find hope in a time when things seem so uncertain. <br><br>It is important for the staff to reach as many people as they can. Having Spanish speaking staff available to assist the significant Latino population in Phoenix, went a long way to reach an audience that may not have been able to connect otherwise. <br><br> The work the customer service staff is doing is ongoing, as the effects of the pandemic still linger. Their essential work has been supported by the City of Phoenix and due to the nature of the work, teleworking was not an option for Doss and her staff. The City of Phoenix issued a city-wide mask mandate, installed plexiglass to help create physical distance for employees, and provided hand sanitizer and masks. Some of the employees were relocated to different facilities to give, at minimum, six feet of distance. ​ <br> <br><br> <p> <strong>Media Contact: </strong> <br> Athena Sanchez<br> Public Information Officer, Phoenix Water <br> Cell: 602-621-0507<br> Email: <a target="_blank" href="https://action.phoenix.gov/c1.pl?608086ccbd057ec33d3cf694325093d06cd16183e37dc76f5e4f5473d5470209">athena.sanchez@phoenix.gov</a><br></p> </html></div>https://www.phoenix.gov/waterservicesNews

 

 

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