Building Futures - for Individuals and for Our Community

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Old Pueblo Community Services
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Too many in our community struggle without the simple basics of life—unable to care for themselves, unable to see a future, unable to be contributing citizens. The mission of Old Pueblo Community Services is to empower this community of fellow citizens to move from hopelessness to self-sufficiency.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Building Futures – for Individuals and Our Community

Old Pueblo Community Services (OPCS) began in 1996 as a volunteer organization serving 6 men recently released from prison in Tucson with no place to live. Nick Jones, founder and current CEO, rented one-half a duplex to provide these men a clean and sober, safe home. He provided food from the Community Food Bank, and helped them look for work.

Today, OPCS provides transitional living for nearly 800 men, women and families annually at 8 sites throughout Tucson. Services provided begin with housing, food and clothing to ex-offenders who are homeless upon release from incarceration – the basics for survival. Once settled, clients are assisted in securing employment – the first step to self-sufficiency. To further support clients, OPCS has adopted a philosophy, known as “recovery oriented systems of care” or ROSC, supported by research to facilitate recovery from substance addiction (more than 85% of offenders suffer some degree of drug or alcohol abuse) and to reduce recidivism. Each client works with a Case Manager to develop a plan for success and meets regularly to monitor progress. Clients are provided substance abuse treatment, which is key to maintaining employment and avoiding recidivism. In addition, training in various life skills – setting personal goals, managing personal finances, relating to others, and health, nutrition and fitness – is provided. These services are augmented by Peer Support from others who have walked their path before them. Following a minimum 90-day residence in OPCS transitional housing programs, clients are supported through our Outpatient Clinic for any follow-up counseling needed.

OPCS also provides pathways to home ownership for first-time homebuyers. We serve more than 1,200 clients annually through various services: homebuyer education as a HUD-approved housing counselor, down-payment and closing-cost assistance, construction of new homes, and foreclosure prevention counseling and assistance. Some of these homebuyers are previous transitional housing residents, people who at one time didn’t know if they would have any place to live. Through supportive services provided by OPCS they become home owners and genuine contributors to our community.

Microsoft Products and other software and hardware products from Tech Soup have allowed OPCS to integrate our services, standardize our information, provide enhanced services to our clients, and to provide quality presentation materials to publicize our benefit to the community at large. Network servers provide accessibility to our locally-developed Client Manager database for Case Managers at 8 transitional housing sites, staff at the Administrative Office, and behavioral health clinical providers at our Outpatient Clinic. This ensures effective, consistent service to our clients, and provides for reliable information to track program outcomes from which we are able to make improvements and inspire continued funding. The automation maximizes staff efficiency so that as much time as possible is directed to the clients.

Availability of MicroSoft Office Suite software enables staff to communicate via Outlook, is providing Access as a database for our new Volunteer Management program, allows quality materials to be easily produced through Power Point, Excel, and Publisher for publicity outreach, and generally improves the productivity of all staff administrative functions. Use of Publisher was instrumental in the new website design (

Wireless routers from Cisco and computer workstations at each transitional housing facility allow clients access to the internet so they may maximize their employment search efforts. It also allows staff to use their laptop computers at any site, improving our ability to serve our clients without requiring them to travel to the Administrative Office to meet with providers.

This all contributes to our outcomes: 85% of clients are employed; 73% to 80% maintain sobriety; and recidivism rates for our clients are less than half the state average. If it wasn’t for Tech Soup Old Pueblo Community Services would be in the dark ages and would not have the technological capabilities that we have today. Thank you.


Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery
Supporting Work Files