Original URL: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/suncities/articles/0214friend13Z1.html

Friendly House receives $700,000
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 14, 2004 12:00 AM
Carol Sowers

Friendly House leaders say they will put to good use the almost $700,000 in local corporate and foundation donations they recently received at an annual banquet.

For 84 years, Friendly House of downtown Phoenix has been helping the working poor find jobs, learn to speak English and unravel immigration problems. The January donations of $695,000 from corporations and a foundation have brightened the expanding agency's financial future.

The money will support the agency's work in downtown Phoenix and at the Tolleson center, which is already drawing clients from the West Valley.

Checks were presented at the 2004 Recognition of Excellence Scholarship Awards Banquet where the United Way wrote a check to Friendly House for $430,000. The Nina Mason Pulliam Foundation kicked in $150,000. Arizona Public Service Co., Food City and Bank of American were also major donors.

"When they gave the money it was a result of the success we've had in our downtown facility," said Luis Ybarra, Friendly House CEO.

He was referring to the agency's partnership with employers that has resulted in landing quality jobs for clients.

Wells Fargo added $100,000 to help pay for new administrative offices, and renovation of existing facilities. Anheuser Busch, the beer company, donated an unexpected $15,000 after Friendly House was selected as the recipient by local distributor Jim Hensley.

Ybarra said the money would be used to buy children's school clothes.

"My idea is that we will tell a department store that we have $200 to buy clothes for a child, and ask them to match it," he said. "I don't think we'll have too much problem getting them to do that."

With demand growing for its services, the non-profit agency last year opened a new center on the campus of Tolleson High School in the far West Valley.

"We are taking the services to the people on the west side so they don't have to come to Phoenix," said Luis Enriquez, Friendly House adult education director.

Since the new center opened a year ago, it has found 233 jobs for clients. And like its sister agency in Phoenix, it has formed partnerships with other social service agencies to provide food, emergency shelter, job training and education to those in need.

Clinica Adelante and Mountain Ranch Park Health Center are performing health screening for free or on a sliding scale, he said.

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