Travis L. Williams Family Services Center.

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Helping the Community Help Themselves.  

On February 8, 2002 my group and I visited the Travis L. Williams Family Center. It is located at 4732 South Central Avenue. It is on Tamarisk and South Central Avenue between Broadway and Roeser. The center was named in honor of Mr. Williams who was a former South Phoenix businessman and is presently a leader and advocate in his community, who later began working for the City of  Phoenix Human Services Department.  Mr. Williams is an ASU graduate and has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts degree.  Mr. Williams has been credited for fighting the war against poverty in South Phoenix.

The center has programs that are funded by the City of Phoenix as well as other private agencies. The program is a division of the City of Phoenix Human Services Department. The center was founded in 1966 and has been assisting South Phoenix residents in a wide variety of social services.  Including education, health, advocacy, and other social issues designed to promote individual and family self-sufficiency. As we approached the building I was impressed by the size of the center. The great big windows make the building look so spacious and the many doors gives one a certain welcoming aspect. The front is surrounded by a large metal gate and there are benches scattered about in the front lawn.

According to the receptionist the most common program is the emergency financial assistance. This is when a family is burdened with a crisis and is unable to pay their monthly bills including utilities and rent. She stated that the they help people the first month financially and if they continue to experience hardship they encourage them to take part in their case management program. Which will enable them budget, obtain education, and job referrals, social and life skills development, client advocacy, technical assistance, resource development, counseling and direct services to become self-sufficient and self-supporting.
These programs have been helping low income families for a long time, since 1966. The only change is the recent building that is only about two years old. The types of programs the center offers vary. They engulf a wide variety of services including economic, social, educational and medical services. The most interesting aspect that I found was the daycare program that they offer for parents who are involved in the case management program and working. Due to time restrictions we weren't able to speak to the person(s) in charge of the program, but the receptionist offered general information. Another program that I found was essential was the young families program. This program provides assistance for teen parents become independent of welfare assistance.
Other valuable programs that not only South Phoenix residents but all Phoenix residents can  benefit from are ESL classes and  G.E.D. classes. Ultimately, the center has a multiple of functions all with the community in mind.

For more information on this or other centers click here.

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