In 1973, several of the Methodist churches in the Tucson area began working together to meet some of the social and human needs of the community in an administrative manner that would avoid duplication of services and provide ministry to and with the vulnerable population of Tucson. District Superintendent Rev. Robert Stanley appointed Gretta Moffet as the founding chair of the Tucson Metropolitan Ministries Committee. The Reverend Roland Brammeier was retained as the “Coordinator” of the work. The organization was officially incorporated in 1979.
From the beginning, the central purpose of the work was to help Methodist churches, as well as other interested churches, in coordinating their work with the Tucson community. Tucson Metropolitan Ministries started or assisted several emerging organizations with various causes. One was the Food Action Coalition of Tucson (FACT). Tucson churches from all denominations were urged to hold food drives. Tucson Metropolitan Ministries used its influence with congregations to successfully lead this drive of deliveries of donated food. This led to the formation of the Community Food Bank, which, although independent of TMM, was fueled by TMM’s support and energy.
In 1974, TMM became the administrative manager of South Tucson’s La Escuelita Childcare Center, an ongoing program at the time. This was the first of many places where TMM has worked in childcare programs, beginning in 1995 as a Foster care provider.
In 1980, TMM began a local chapter of Traveler’s Aid, which became an autonomous agency in 1986.
A thrift store was opened in 1984, and in June 1985, it became the Community Closet, emphasizing giving away items rather than selling them.
1990 saw the opening of the Construction Closet, which was renamed ReStore and moved, along with the Community Closet, to its current location in 1999. It was run in partnership with Habitat for Humanity for two years but is now (along with the name) solely owned by TMM.
Over the years, TMM slowly purchased land around the central campus as it became available and remodeled existing homes or built new facilities to house programs such as Foster care group homes, transitional homes such as Family Journey, and low-income homes such as Senior Housing and Veterans homes. The central campus currently is 7 acres.
As TMM moved into developing group homes for Foster Care, we became one of the premier agencies providing that care. A huge shift in focus became necessary when, in 2018, DCS began promoting Kinship placements of Foster children rather than using group homes. Doing what TMM has always done since 1974, we began looking and continue to look for new ways to be a force in the community. Low-income housing has become our top priority. On Oct. 4, 2023, TMM Family Services will have an Open House and kick-off of the Shoberg Senior Housing Project. This project will include housing and a Senior Center where residents can gather and socialize with one another.
The United Methodist Churches in the South District have always supported the work of TMM Family Services. One thing TMM Family Services can always use is hygiene kits for residents. Many residents come to our facilities with little or no personal supplies. We currently have a drive to collect hygiene supplies such as toothbrushes (adult and child), toothpaste, combs, soap, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, nail clippers etc. Collection boxes are at TMM’s ReStore (2958 E 22nd St. Tucson, AZ 85716) or the main office (1550 N Country Club Rd. Tucson, AZ 85716). The drive is until Sept. 23, but the need is ongoing, and donations are always appreciated.