Frequently Asked Questions
When was Interfaith Community Services created?
ICS was incorporated in 1985, originally as Northwest Interfaith Center. In 2005, after 20 years of serving the community, we changed our name to Interfaith Community Services to reflect the countywide scope of our services.
What does ICS believe?
Our guiding principles are to provide compassionate service through "love, cooperation and service." Our mission is to help seniors, individuals with disabilities and people in financial crisis achieve stable, healthy and independent lives. We believe that our diverse faiths call us all to serve people in need. Through working side by side, we not only maximize our scope of services, but also build bridges of understanding.
Whom and how does ICS serve?
In 2014, we provided over 73,489 individual services to 36,516 people! More than 98% of all of ICS clients fit under the federal poverty guidelines. Affordable housing, low-paying wages of the working-poor families, limited public transportation, lack of medical insurance and increasing medical costs are issues affecting our recipients.
ICS Senior Programs
...work with seniors and disabled individuals who need additional support in order to remain independent in their homes. Income is not a basis for service. Programs in this area include Caregiving Services, Mobile Meals, and Health Advocacy.
ICS Social Services
...are available for low-income families, those facing financial crisis, or those underemployed or unemployed. Our services help prevent homelessness and fill emergency needs until a household can get back on its feet. Unexpected crises, such as a layoff, medical emergency, divorce, or major car repair often force such families into a financial crisis, risking the loss of home, job, or life-saving medical care. Programs in this area include the ICS Food Bank, Emergency Financial Assistance, Gifts of Love, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), and a Job Resource Center.
ICS Faith and Health Outreach Programs
...provide training and resources for faith organizations to develop whole-person health programs. This includes information and links to community care resources for mental illness.
What geographical area does ICS serve?
ICS services span metropolitan Tucson and Pima County. Our Mobile Meals program serves the area east of Interstate 10 to Swan Road and north of Roger Road to Rancho Vistoso. This includes areas of Marana. View a map of our service area.
Do you have to belong to a faith community to participate in ICS or to receive services?
Our services and volunteer opportunities are open to all regardless of beliefs, and our only goal is to provide compassionate service to those who need it. Although we partner with over 90 local faith communities, we do not advocate any particular belief.
What are some specific examples of people you serve?
Below are several heartwarming stories of the people we help. Click here for more information and stories about our volunteers and the people we serve.
- A man, who is legally blind and had recent hip and heart surgeries, is the caregiver for his wife who has Alzheimer′s. They are in their mid-80s and are unable to cook for themselves. They have no family nearby, but are able to remain together in their home with the support of ICS Mobile Meals and the help of several friends.
- A family consisting of a disabled mother and two children, ages 5 and 14, was facing eviction after the mother′s disability check was stolen. While the family waited for a replacement check, ICS provided rent and utility deposits so they could remain in their home.
- Another family, with 7- and 9-year-old children, was referred to us by the Tucson Unified School District. The mother had to miss work several times to address child custody issues. We provided one-time assistance with rent and utilities, and she has been working full-time since then.
What are some of the needs of ICS?
Although ICS “does a lot with a little,” there are continuing unmet needs in our community. Our needs are in three areas: volunteers, in-kind donations, and funds.
- More volunteers. Our greatest volunteer need is for drivers. If 12 new drivers gave 3 to 4 hours a week to transport a senior to a medical appointment, we could provide 624 more services per year. Learn more about volunteering with ICS.
- In-kind donations. Our Food Bank has an ongoing need for food and hygiene items. This need multiplies during the summer months when many of our supporters are on vacation. Especially useful are pasta sauce, peanut butter, jelly, macaroni and cheese, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and deodorant. See a complete list of our most needed items.
- Financial support. Each week we are saddened by the number of people we are unable to serve. Our goal is to increase our services by 10% each year...an ambitious goal that requires additional volunteers and financial support. All gifts are welcome. Click here for ways that you can help.
Is there mileage reimbursement available?
Various volunteer driving assignments are eligible for mileage reimbursement. This is made possible by the Regional Transportation Authority and managed by Pima Council on Aging. The reimbursement varies throughout the year dependent on funds available.