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Arizona State University student Amy Lindsey goes over a graph to a group of Awhatukee residents. Sept 20, 2011 Darryl Webb/AFN

Darryl Webb

A research study conducted by a student from Arizona State University found Ahwatukee Foothills churches and nonprofits are in need of more counseling services in the area.

Amy Lindsey, who is part of the Community Action Research Experience at ASU, presented her findings to the Ahwatukee Community Network (ACN) recently after months of surveys and information gathering in Ahwatukee.

Twenty representatives responded to the survey out of 47 organizations in the ACN. When asked, “Are there any social problems that you lack referral information for?”

Thirty-six percent of respondents mentioned counseling services. Abuse shelters, temporary housing, additional funding and assistance for job skills were also mentioned as something organizations would like more information on.

The goal of the survey, which was done over the summer of 2011 and was requested by Sheila Coonen from Connecting to Serve, was to identify resources in Ahwatukee, check for any overlap, and to make sure needs were being met.

Because only 43 percent of organizations within the network responded to the survey, the group hopes to continue to build the list.

Once a more complete list is compiled organizations within ACN will be given an electronic copy and the group hopes to have the information on the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce website when it relaunches in early 2012.

Jeff Bizgrove works with a group called Neighborhood Transformation in Guadalupe. He deals with different communities in Arizona and helps them transform by talking to the people.

Grisgrow asked the 20 respondents to the CARE survey some more personal questions to supplement the study.

When asked what they liked most about Ahwatukee, community respondents said the close-knit feel and proximity to a big city.

When asked what they would like to change, respondents said more transportation, there’s no center to Ahwatukee, there’s growing crime, and that they’d like to see more community awareness.

Bisgrove also asked what skills these people had and what organizations they were involved with. The list showed a variety within Ahwatukee.

The YMCA is also completing an asset map of 17 communities in and around Phoenix, and hope to have the findings announced by the end of the year.

Those findings may be shared with the community network for a complete list of resources.

“We want the community to know that we have lots of people willing to serve and lots of groups that have those needs, we’re just trying to get them together and find whatever gaps exist,” said Liane Rouzand, president of the steering committee for the ACN. “We’re strategizing on how we can create a more comprehensive list. We’re all sort of like-minded in giving back and it’s uplifting to see so much good surrounding us.”

The ACN is compiled of churches and service-based organizations within the community.

The group’s next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 18 at CHW Urgent Care Community Room, 454 E. Chandler Blvd.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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