Maricopa County, El Mirage, Surprise Join Assistance Forces

Maricopa County, El Mirage and Surprise have joined forces to create the County’s newest Community Action Program (CAP) office, which opened its doors on December 14th. The Surprise Resource Center, located at 12425 W. Bell Road, provides human services, including temporary utility and housing assistance, to eligible community members.

District 4 Supervisor Clint Hickman praised the collaboration between the Maricopa County Human Services Department, El Mirage and Surprise. “This puts the services where people live. These families need access to trained professionals to get temporary help with utilities and rent payments.”

Locating the County’s newest CAP office on the campus of AZ TechCelerator, a business development program, connects economic assistance for those in need with workforce development and economic sustainability in the northwest valley.

Sandra Mendez, Assistant Director of the Community Services Division for the County’s Human Services Department, said that the assistance provided by CAP to qualifying applicants helps distressed families through difficult financial times. “Caseworkers coordinate services and provide a wrap-around approach to provide services within the community. They try to identify those residents in the most vulnerable positions.”

Single mother Anita Lawson, who lives with two of her children, one of whom has a disability, said that past assistance with her utility bill “helped me through the roughest time of my life.” She explained that with the start of her children’s school year came an “outrageous” electric bill that she had no ability to pay. “All I needed was that help at that one particular time of the year.”

The newest CAP office is one of ten such offices located in Maricopa County. Individuals seeking information about eligibility requirements for rental and utility assistance can visit the County’s Human Services website at or call 602-506-5911 to locate the nearest CAP office.

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