The Central Arizona affiliate was founded in 1952. A group of parents in Phoenix came together to create the Central Arizona affiliate, as part of the national movement to raise their children with cerebral palsy at home rather than the alternative of institutionalizing them. To this day, that core value of maintaining the family unit is at the foundation of every program the organization provides.
For more than thirty years, Circle K has been supporting the mission of UCP through in-store canister collections, quarterly promotions, and various special events.
Through this partnership, over $5.8 million is raised annually for the Central Arizona affiliate, the Southern Arizona affiliate, and Opportunity Village in Nevada. The funds raised by Circle K play an instrumental and unsurpassed role in subsidizing the costs associated with the important programs and services UCP provides for children and adults with disabilities. We are grateful to Circle K for their continued commitment to being UCP’s strongest corporate partner and know that, without them, we would not be able to help individuals and families to the extent we do because of their support.
As programs and services grew, UCP of Central Arizona began serving children with various disabilities, not just cerebral palsy. During the ensuing years, the organization served hundreds of children with disabilities and their families living throughout Central and Northern Arizona. As the children grew into young adulthood, UCP of Central Arizona expanded services to meet the needs of adults, in addition to children.
The UCP Laura Dozer Center opened in June 2003, thanks to the generosity of Rich and Karie Dozer. Through their leadership, the Dozers brought together many community partners, including Jerry and Joan Colangelo, to secure the resources needed to build the new center. The center, named after the Dozer’s late daughter, Laura Grace Dozer, was designed specifically to meet the needs of children and adults with disabilities and their families.
With the increasing need for adult programs, UCP of Central Arizona expanded its facilities in 2007 by leasing 6,000 square feet of space two blocks from the Laura Dozer Center in order to provide life and employment skills training to our adult population.
In 2010, the organization received funding from a Wal-Mart grant to implement a consumer operated café, entitled Café Without Limits, at our adult campus. The café serves as a job training experience for our adult aged population. Through the café, consumers have an opportunity to learn job skills such as customer service, cash transactions, and product stocking.
With our increase in services, UCP had to expand once again and lease additional space across the street from the Dozer center to meet the needs of administrative growth. Now our billing and accounting departments are housed in the leased building.
Our latest expansion happened in April, 2016 with the opening of our new UCP Downtown. With more and more individuals and families seeking services in the Central Phoenix and East Valley regions of the County, UCP has explored opportunities to expand to strategically located neighborhoods and communities. Through the generosity of Circle K, who are providing lease payments through April 2017; a new UCP Downtown located on Roosevelt at 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ., is now open for therapy! This location provides an ideal opportunity for UCP to outreach into the central city community to develop programs so that more children and families, especially those who are low to moderate income, can receive the services they deserve.