Community Safety, Health & Wellness Program


ABOUT

The Community Safety, Health & Wellness Program (CSHW), centers on meeting the needs of Tucsonans with the right work in the right hands. With 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 functions as an umbrella for coordination with pre-existing teams under multiple city departments. These teams specialize in meeting the needs of the community members experiencing behavioral health crises and houselessness and include:

With the inception of the program two additional teams are being activated:

  • Care Coordinators (CSHW)
    The Care Coordinatiors work with individuals identified through the 9-1-1 call center, Code Enforcement Division, Housing First Program, Mental Health Support Team, and Ward offices. 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 - longterm care, home repairs, ADA accommodations
    • Youth support
    • Referral to coordinated entry for emergency shelter
    • Accompaniment and advocacy as needed.
       
  • Community Outreach & Violence Interruption Coordinators (CSHW)
    The Community Outreach & Violence Interruption Coordinators work long-term in areas of the city where historic disinvestment and resultant poverty have produced higher rates of gun violence. Outreach workers, supported by CSHW Care Coordinators, promote racial equity, reinvestment, and the interruption of cirsis and violence in the City of Tucson.


YOUR TEAM

Image of Sarah Launius, Program Director
Sarah Launius, Program Director
City Manager's Office
(520) 488-3795
Sarah.Launius@tucsonaz.gov

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.

 

Image of Lee Hopkins, Resource Manager
Lee Hopkins, Resource Manager
Care Coordination Program
Lee.Hopkins@tucsonaz.gov

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.  

 

 

Image of Ricky Romero, Care Coordinator
Ricky Romero, Care Coordinator
Community Safety, Health & Wellness
Ricky.Romero@tucsonaz.gov

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.

 

Image of Noah Gariepy, Care Coordinator
Noah Gariepy, Care Coordinator
Community Safety, Health & Wellness
Noah.Gariepy@tucsonaz.gov

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. 

 

 

Image of Kristin Woodall, Care Coordinator
Kristin Woodall, Care Coordinator
Community Safety, Health & Wellness
Kristin.Woodall@tucsonaz.gov 

Kristin Woodall serves as a Care Coordinator for the Community Safety, Health and Wellness Program for the City of Tucson.Kristin was raised in Flagstaff, AZ. She moved to Tucson in 1999 to attend nursing school at the University of Arizona and never left. 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.

 

 

Image of Daniel Reyes, Care Coordinator
Daniel Reyes, Care Coordinator
Community Safety, Health & Wellness
Daniel.Reyes@tucsonaz.gov

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.

 

 

Image of Susan Cota, Care Coordinator
Susan Cota, Care Coordinator
Community Safety, Health & Wellness
Susan.Cota@tucsonaz.gov

Susan Cota serves as a Care Coordinator for the Community Safety, Health and Wellness Program for the City of Tucson. A proud native Tucsonan and first generation born Latina 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 and served as the Tribal Clinical Service Coordinator for American Indian members of Sothern Arizona. 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 potentially improving healthier lives. Susan holds a bachelor's in psychology with the University of Phoenix.


WHY WAS THE PROGRAM CREATED?

The Community Safety Pilot Program was created in September 2020 by Tucson’s Mayor and Council. The Community Safety Pilot Program created 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. The program is housed in the City Manager’s office and aims to:

  • Provide a civilian response to non-emergency calls coming into our 9-1-1 call center related to 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 advance racial equity.

Community Safety is an approach that reflects the broad range of factors that promote an environment where residents not only feel safe but thrive. With 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 crises related to substance use, mental illness, and extreme poverty. 


RESOURCES

CSHW Client Brochure