Community Safety, Health & Wellness

About Us

The Community Safety, Health & Wellness Program (CSHW), centers on meeting the needs of Tucsonans with the right work in the right handsWith awareness that our community is safest when we have the tools to reduce and prevent crises, we are working to ensure that the City of Tucson has the appropriate responses to prevent crises related to substance use, mental illness, and extreme poverty.

The program is housed in the City Manager’s office and aims to:

  • Provide a civilian response to non-emergency and low acuity calls coming into our 9-1-1 call center related to complex social service needs including mental health, substance use or homelessness, and;
  • Coordinate across city departments, non-profit and community-led organizations to prevent crises related to mental health, substance use or extreme poverty, and to reduce violence and advance racial equity. 

The program functions as an umbrella for coordination with special problem-solving teams across multiple city departments. These teams specialize in meeting the needs of the community members experiencing behavioral health crises and houselessness and include:


Alternative Emergency Responses

The City of Tucson has long been an innovator on civilian alternative emergency responses such as TC-3 and embedded crisis call takers in our 9-1-1 call center dating back to 2016 and 2019 respectively.

The Community Safety, Health & Wellness Program works with the city’s public safety departments to put the right work in the right hands through advancing additional complementary alternative responses. 

9-1-1 Connection to Social Services
The Care Coordinators within the Community Safety, Health & Wellness Program work with individuals identified through the 9-1-1 call center who have complex social service or behavioral health (non-crisis) needs. The team takes a person-centered approach to support Tucsonans to reach their goals and successfully navigate other social services available in Tucson.  Services that Care Coordinators help community members navigate include:

  • Food security
  • Public benefits enrollments
  • Utility assistance
  • SSI / SSDI / Social Security
  • Medical care
  • Behavioral health care and wellness supports
  • Addiction/substance use/ recovery care
  • Financial wellness and income analysis (addressing medical and other debt)
  • Social supports and community connectivity
  • Head Start and childcare
  • Workforce development / vocational training / job application support
  • Housing stability supports - long term care, home repairs, ADA accommodations
  • Youth support
  • Referral to coordinated entry for emergency shelter
  • Accompaniment and advocacy as needed.
Mental Health Support Team Co-response

In partnership with Tucson Police Officers who serve with the Mental Health Support Team (MHST), the Community Safety, Health & Wellness Program Care Coordinators support individuals who are struggling to have their behavioral health needs fully met. As co-responders with MHST, Care Coordinators offer case management and advocacy supports to individuals and their families as they navigate emergency psychological evaluations or court-ordered treatment.

Community Health & Acute Response Team (CHART)
CHART helps to expand the types of resources available to residents engaged in our emergency response system. This special unit comprised of a Nurse Practitioner and Medical Assistant from El Rio along with a Housing Navigator and Peer Support Specialist from OPCS responds to emergency calls for service identified by our 9-1-1 call takers that involve individuals in public spaces who may be experiencing medical issues related to being unsheltered.


Violence Prevention and Community Building

 The Community Safety, Health & Wellness Program works closely with other city departments, community-based organizations and residents in areas of the city where historic disinvestment and resultant poverty have produced higher rates of gun violence and other violent crime.

 Community Enrichment Coordinators with the CSHW Program engage residents to promote leadership development, resident-directed reinvestment, and to create the neighbor-to-neighbor networks required to interrupt crisis and violence and maintain violence prevention.

Resources and Examples:




The Community Safety Pilot Program was created in September 2020 by Tucson’s Mayor and Council. The Community Safety Pilot Program was envisioned to create a community safety continuum across City departments and non-profit partners that is grounded in the needs and vision of community safety identified through community engagement.

In April 2021, the program became permanent. At that time, various forums and surveys were launched to expand community voice in the program design, and the Program Director was hired in January 2022.


Meet Our Team

Team Leadership

Sarah Launius, Program Director
City Manager's Office

Sarah Launius serves as the Director of the Community Safety, Health & Wellness Program for the City of Tucson. Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and moving frequently as a military kid, Sarah has called Tucson home since 2006.  Prior to joining the City of Tucson, Sarah worked and volunteered with several service and advocacy agencies focused on equitable access to quality education, immigrant rights, environmental stewardship, and collective quality of life advocacy. Sarah has a PhD from the School of Geography, Development, and the Environment at the University of Arizona.

Lee Hopkins, Resource Manager
Community Safety, Health & Wellness

Lee Hopkins is the Resource Manager of the Care Coordination program within the Community Safety, Health & Wellness Program. She supervises the Care Coordinators and brings in resources for the program and its participants. Lee moved to Tucson in 2021 from Virginia. Work and family moved her around the East Coast, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa throughout her life. Prior to joining the City of Tucson, Lee worked with non-profits in the U.S. and abroad to provide social work and public health services to refugees, advocate for immigrant rights and healthcare access, and invest in youth leadership and affordable housing. Lee has an MSW, specializing in management from Columbia School of Social Work and is licensed in Arizona.

Team Members

Susan Cota, Care Coordinator
Community Safety, Health & Wellness

Susan Cota serves as a Care Coordinator for the Community Safety, Health and Wellness Program for the City of Tucson. She is a proud native Tucsonan, a Latina, a child of immigrants to the U.S., and mother of three. Susan enjoys hiking Sabino Canyon's beautiful trails and has picked up boxing as one of her hobbies. Prior to joining the City of Tucson, Susan worked for the Regional Behavioral Health Authority. Serving as the Tribal Clinical Service Coordinator for American Indian members of Sothern Arizona, Susan was responsible for identifying social determinates of health and gaps in care to members with Severe Mental Illness (SMI) and substance abuse. Susan prides herself in her past collaboration with Medicaid, and stakeholders, to increase communication and improve health outcomes for members. Her passion is to support diversity, equity, and inclusion by providing advocacy to an underserved population and promoting healthier lives. Susan holds a bachelor's in psychology from the University of Phoenix.

Julie Elvick, Economic Mobility Municipal Intern
Community Safety, Health & Wellness

Julie Elvick is from Tucson. Prior to her work at Tucson House, she was a public school educator for 30 + years. She holds a BA in Elementary education and an MA in Language, Reading and Culture - both from the University of Arizona. She is fluent in English and Spanish and has a passion for writing and studying ancient indigenous philosophy, finding ways to apply those lessons in her daily life. Her son Benjamin Andres is the love of her life.

Noah Gariepy, Care Coordinator
Community Safety, Health & Wellness

Noah Gariepy serves as a Care Coordinator for the Community Safety, Health & Wellness Program for the City of Tucson. While born and raised here, Noah’s love of Tucson was concreted after moving away and later returning.  He and his partner along with their three dogs enjoy experiencing the local food, art, and culture. Noah has over ten years of work and volunteer experience working with marginalized communities.  His experience includes working with developmental/intellectual disabilities, mental health, LGBTQ, housing instability, and more.  Prior to joining the City of Tucson, Noah oversaw multiple grants relating to youth homelessness. Noah has also worked in group homes, day programs, behavioral health lock-down facilities, and more as both a staff and manager. Noah has a Bachelors from Arizona State University in Interdisciplinary Studies and is currently working towards his Masters of Social Work at Widener University. 

Naomi Lee, Community Enrichment Coordinator
Community Safety, Health & Wellness

Naomi Lee serves as a Community Enrichment Coordinator for the Community Safety, Health and Wellness Program for the City of Tucson. Naomi was born and raised in Tucson and has been working within the Tucson community since 2014. She has worked and volunteered for several organizations to promote equity and inclusion through community outreach and organizing, especially in areas concerning education and social services. Naomi has a bachelor’s in political science from Brown University. 

Oscar Medina, Community Enrichment Coordinator
Community Safety, Health & Wellness

 Oscar serves as the Community Enrichment Coordinator within the Community Safety, Health, and Wellness Program. As a former middle school, high school, and college instructor, Oscar worked with youth and community organizers to develop environmental health and sustainability projects that were culturally responsive and enhanced the quality of life of historically underinvested communities. He is a descendant of migrants from Jalisco, Mexico, born and raised in California. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of California Berkeley. During his spare time, he enjoys hiking and biking with his family.

Daniel Reyes, Care Coordinator
Community Safety, Health & Wellness

Daniel Reyes serves as Care Coordinator for the Community Safety, Health & Wellness Program for the City of Tucson. Originally from Mexico, Daniel has called Tucson home since 1998. Joining the City of Tucson in 1999, Daniel has worked with different community centers, schools and social programs throughout Tucson and advocacy agencies focused on immigrant rights. Daniel is fluent in Spanish and a National and Arizona State Certified Emergency Medical Technician.

Ricky Romero, Care Coordinator
Community Safety, Health & Wellness

Ricky Romero serves as a Care Coordinator of the Community Safety, Health & Wellness Program for the City of Tucson. As a native Tucsonan, Ricky is motivated to support his neighbors to achieve their goals. Prior to joining the City of Tucson, Ricky worked in the behavioral health field for over 20 years. Starting his work with at-risk youth in the juvenile justice system, he has a deep appreciation for the importance of positive community and familial dynamics to help young Tucsonans thrive. Most recently, Ricky has worked extensively with adults living with addictions and the unique needs of older adults. In his personal time Ricky stays busy with family and his church community.

Kristin Woodall, Care Coordinator
Community Safety, Health & Wellness 

Kristin Woodall serves as a Care Coordinator for the Community Safety, Health & Wellness Program for the City of Tucson. Kristin was raised in Flagstaff, AZ. After working as a nurse, Kristin transitioned to providing case management at a Medication Assisted Treatment center to individuals with substance use disorders and mental health diagnoses. It was after that when she began to work for the City in the Ward 3 Council office and provided constituent services. She transitioned to the CSHW program after working for three Council Members. Now she serves the people of Tucson using the skills that she has gained throughout her career.

Examples of Work in the Community

Ronstadt Transit Center Resource Fair

Winter Sock Drive

City of Tucson Addressing Mental Health Calls

Brookings Community Safety Blueprint

Improving Community Safety Through Public Health Strategies

Neighborhood Spotlights 29th St Thrive

Dodge Flower Block Party & Resource Fair a Big Success


Dodge Flower September Community Safety Events
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29th Street Thrive Planning Meeting
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Tierra Sol and Tierra Luna Donuts & Coffee
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Summer Family Resource Fair
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Dodge Flower Neighborhood Fair
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Community Safety Academy
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Tierra Luna & Tierra Sol Community Resource Fair
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29th Street Thrive Resident Resource Fair
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Find Resources

Contact 2-1-1 on-line or by phone to find an expansive list of services in Pima County.

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