Itom Hiapsi (2012), Tempe, AZ

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COMMUNITY IMPACT

The town of Guadalupe—a neighborhood in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area—is home to 3,600 members of the Pascua Yaqui
Tribe. For many years, the tribe was struggled to provide the same
comprehensive services in Guadalupe available on the main reservation
two hours south in Tucson. Additionally, the services in Guadalupe were
housed in four dilapidated modular building and lacked the privacy and
space to accommodate sensitive tribal services in a tightknit community.
In 2011, the tribe began to pursue funding for the new 36,719 sq. ft.
tribal health and administration building called Itom Hiapsi or “our heart”
in the Yaqui language.

Travois worked with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe for a number of years on
Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) development. The tribe had
recently completed a LIHTC project in Guadalupe and needed to improve
services not only for the nearby housing development, but also the
entire Yaqui population in greater Phoenix. However, land and
construction costs are higher in Guadalupe than on the reservation. In
order to be able to construct a quality facility in this community, the
Tribe needed to access a New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to
close a financing gap. Travois New Markets, LLC provided $9 million in
NMTC allocation and Wells Fargo provided the investor equity.

Itom Hiapsi now houses vital tribal services such as behavioral health,
adult services, victim services, community and adult education, senior
services, facilities management, legal services, enrollment, health
nursing and Yaqui Education Services (YES). YES is a comprehensive
education support service that provides funding to all levels of Yaqui
students and scholarships for higher education. Before Itom Hiapsi,
there was inadequate space for YES to tackle the truancy problem in the
community. Now with the new facility truancy has dropped by more than
60 percent.

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe’s Itom Hiapsi administration and health services
building created 72 construction and 65 permanent jobs. The center
supports over 1,200 Yaqui households with comprehensive education,
mental health, and other tribal services. Many low-income members can
now avoid the costly drive down to Tucson and all Yaqui’s in the area
now have a private, one-stop shop to take advantage of the tribe’s
excellent services.

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