Flowing Wells Community Center
is a Popular Success

The Flowing Wells Neighborhood saw the grand opening of its new community center in September of 2007. The center is a crowning achievement and a result of many years of implementing a revitalization strategy. The center includes youth areas, health center, dance room, arts and crafts, computer lab, community hall, meeting rooms, kitchen, and courtyard. Services provided include a T.O.T.S. (Teach Our Toddlers Skills) Program, After School Recreation, Teen and Senior Programs, Oil Painting, and T'ai Chi classes among others.

[Photo 1: room of standing and seated attendees]
It opened with standing room only for attendees

It began through a partnership between HUD Community Planning and Development (CPD) and Pima County, Arizona. HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds in the amount of $535,000 from different program years of Pima County's CDBG entitlement grant funded the center in addition to Pima County bond funds.

The Flowing Wells story is an amazing example of HUD's strategic goal to strengthen communities. HUD funds were utilized from the beginning to create the revitalization plan. HUD funds various activities from the plan and provided leveraging opportunities so the neighborhood could seek other funding sources. The assistance of CDBG funds has resulted in a vibrant, active, and sustainable community with greater access to decent, affordable housing, a suitable living environment, and social services. This community has received national recognition for its efforts at community revitalization.

[Photo 2: ribbon cutting]
Ribbon cutting for Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center

Partnerships with the Pima County Community Development and Neighborhood Conservation Department and other agencies played a key role in winning the award. "None of this would have been possible without the help of our partners," said Ellie Towne, head of the FWNACC (Flowing Wells Neighborhood Association and Community Coalition) and long-time community advocate. "Partnership is what we focused on in our presentation, and it's those partnerships that won the day for us." Towne has been the force behind much of the change in the community and the community center was named after her.

Over $16 million leveraged dollars have been brought into this 3.1 square mile area since 1999. That funding has benefited the neighborhood by providing decent housing, a safer community, and improvements such as traffic signals, drainage and sidewalks. The latest addition has been two parks, a community center, and a health center. CDBG funds funded the community center, street lights, crime and safety programs, and affordable housing activities.

[Photo 3: computer lab]
Computer lab for visitors

The realization of community revitalization of Flowing Wells is due to the partnership between HUD, Pima County, and the Flowing Wells community. Other CDBG funds received from both the City of Tucson and the County over the years have realized the following activities: $6,000 for graffiti abatement, street lighting installation and operation totaling $69,000, and $50,000 towards an elementary school multi-purpose room.

As a result of these partnerships, the Flowing Wells Neighborhood Association and Community Coalition (FWNACC) received the All-America City Award at the All-America City Conference. It was given by the National Civic League in Anaheim, California in June of 2007. The All-America City Award is the oldest and most respected community recognition program in the nation that recognizes communities whose citizen's work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon results. FWNACC is only the fourth neighborhood association to achieve that designation in the 58 years of the competition. The FWNACC stated that designation as a HUD Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA) was invaluable in realizing goals for community revitalization.

Your local Community Planning and Development (CPD) Office oversees HUD Community Development Block Grants to cities, counties, and the state; the HOME affordable housing program; and programs to help end homelessness and promote economic revitalization.

Content Archived: August 17, 2011