Health Alert:   COVID-19 Community Level:   HIGH   More information
Pima County Government Logo
  • Increase font size
  • Decrease font size
  • Print
  • RSS
  • Pima County resource fair attracts more than 1,100 people, dozens of agencies

    Mar 10, 2022 | Read More News
    Share this page
     resource fair
    Andrew Flagg, second from left, a deputy director in the Department of Community
    & Workforce Development, assists a family at the March 5, 2022, resource fair.
    Pima County’s first resource fair of 2022 was a huge success, attracting 45 County and community agencies and an estimated 1,100 members of the public over three hours.

    The event, which was spearheaded by the County’s Community & Workforce Development Department, was held March 5 at Freedom Park, 5000 E. 29th St., on Tucson’s east side.

    So, how does one measure the success of something like a resource fair? Well, one telling way is by comparing how many materials agencies have to carry back out compared with what they had when they arrived.

    Fortunately, many organizations went home empty-handed or with a much lighter load.  

    Pima County Attorney Laura Conover, for example, said she arrived with 150 gun locks to give away. Those were all gone midway through the event.

    Jennifer Eckstrom, Pima County’s community and faith-based outreach coordinator, said some divisions of the County’s Health Department and Youth Employment Program ran out of materials they were handing out. Additionally, Eckstrom said organizers exhausted their supply of snacks and water for the public.

    “I told departments to prepare for about 300 people at the event, but we had no idea that it would explode into the kind of crowd that we saw,” Eckstrom said. “I think the event went well.

    “This was our first time trying to put on an event of this scale, especially two years out from the start of the pandemic.”

    The Health Department was administering COVID-19 vaccinations at the resource fair and an estimated 50 people received shots.

    The purpose of the fair was to bring County and community resources to the people who need them. In addition to a slew of County departments, Tucson Electric Power Co., Mi Familia Vota, the Pima Council on Aging, Southwest Gas and Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse were among the many organizations that were offering their services to the community.

    “Being out in the community on a Saturday for three hours really makes a difference,” Eckstrom said. “We have 8-to-5 hours at the One-Stop (the employment assistance arm of Community & Workforce Development) and there’s only a certain amount of time when people can call in for rental and utility assistance. So, it’s good to be out where we can talk with people and they can explain what they are going through. A lot of times when you do things by phone, things get lost in translation.”

    Eckstrom says the County aims to hold four resource fairs per year in different areas of town. She said the East 29th Street corridor was chosen because County data showed there were a high number of eviction cases in the area.

    “For us, the challenge is identifying where we need to be. We want to go out to neighborhoods where the data shows resources are needed,” Eckstrom said.

    In addition to resources to help adults, the fair also had giveaways and games for children. Ready, Set, Rec! — a City of Tucson Program — kept kids busy with activities. The County also had raffles for prizes, including 10 refurbished computers.

    “There were a lot of immigrant families there and a lot of kids. I was really glad to see all that diversity,” Eckstrom said. “People were waiting at 8:30 for an event that didn’t start until 10 a.m.

    “The success of this resource fair showed us there is need out there and this is something that we should continue to do. It was just really great to have the community come together to help that neighborhood.”