We Are Arizona: Chicanos Por La Causa

Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) works to support and empower those who are in need by providing services that enable them to take on challenges in a self-sufficient manner.

“Chicanos Por La Causa is a 50-year-old, what we call, community development corporation and we invest to empower people. And our mission is we drive economic and political empowerment, and we do it with our services that we [provide],” David Adame, CPLC President and CEO, said.

CPLC helps others through health and human services, housing, education and economic development. It was founded in Arizona in 1969 and has expanded into New Mexico and Nevada.

“It’s about giving a hand up, but not a hand out. Every one of our programs we have has a plan. So, for example, I tell people, ‘If you get a scholarship to go to one of our state universities, we expect you to get good grades and we expect you to pay [it] forward and do community service.’”

CPLC’s services have impacted people who face barriers and can thrive with some extra help. Its work has benefited individuals, families and the overall community.

“In the last ten years, we’ve had a $1.75 billion- I say with a ‘B’- billion-dollar impact in our community,” Adame explained. “In the last ten years we’ve created $57 million of sales taxes that the state has benefited from.”

In 2017, CPLC positively impacted the community through its main four programs.

More than 6,000 families were strengthened through parenting classes and more than 800 survivors of domestic violence were assisted thanks to CPLC’s health and human services.

CPLC housing services allowed more than 200 homeowners and tenants to avoid foreclosure or eviction and the education services provided 54 full scholarships to college students and enriched more than 700 youth at its community center.

The organization deployed $16.2 million in small business loans and connected more than 4,000 job-seekers with employers through its economic development services.

CPLC recently developed a 30,000 square-foot facility in the West Valley that provides integrated health care services.

“How do you deal with all the issues with a family in a comprehensive way? That way there’s a better chance that when we start helping them, they’re going to be successful for the long-term,” Adame said.

The integrated health care services facility includes Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Saint Mary’s Food Bank, Dress for Success, dental services and more.

The one-stop shop, as Adame described it, provides a variety of services for people who are in need and it can put them on the path to a successful, healthy life.

CPLC has touched many individuals, families and communities in need, but it wants to do more.

“By the end of the next five years, my board has put on a challenge to me and my leadership team that we, on an annual basis, we want to serve 1.5 million people,” Adame explained.

CPLC plans to expand to other states so more people can benefit from its services.

“But, like anybody else we’ve got to do it strategically, sustainably and make sure we’re working with the communities that we want to serve,” Adame said.

Sierra Ciaramella

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