Tom Heath: Good morning Tucson! It’s a beautiful Sunday in the Old Pueblo. I want to thank you for spending a part of your brunch hour with us on your downtown Tucson Community sponsored rock and roll radio station.
Tom Heath: This week, we’re going to discuss the ongoing effort to find solutions for homelessness in Tucson. We’ll talk about the legacy of it Louise Foucar Marshall and the teamwork of the Tucson Festival of books. Today is January 19th. My name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to Life Along The Streetcar.
Tom Heath: Each and every Sunday, our focus is on social cultural and economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban core and we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about. From A Mountain to the U of A and all stops in between, you get the inside track right here on 99.1 FM streaming on Downtown Radio dot org. Also Available anywhere you go by downloading the Downtown Radio Tucson app to your iPhone or Android. If you want to get us here on the show, you can do so: [email protected] is the email address. We’re on Facebook where most of you interact with us there and occasionally, you’ll find us on Twitter, but we need to get a little bit better about our tweets. We recently launched our website LifeAlongTheStreetcar.org so you can check out our past episodes.
Tom Heath: We’re going to start today with something a little different. There is so much going on in Tucson. We just can’t keep track of it. We could spend hours trying to cover all the events. Just today we have Dillinger days going on. The jazz festival is going on. We’re getting ready for Gem Show, the rodeos not too far away. The Soccer Shootout is in town. I think we got golf coming up, so many things happening. So we’re going to take a little bit of a breath and we’re going to talk about some things that we’ve been covering on the show for pretty much since we started and these are efforts still underway. I wanted to share them back with you and kind of give you some updates.
Tom Heath: So today’s show is a little bit different. We’ve got three mini segments versus one big feature, but I think you’re gonna like it. If you’ve been listening to this show since day one some of this might be familiar to you, but they’re certainly updates and if you’re newer to the show, then this is going to be brand new. And of course if you want to check out any of these episodes that were going to be re broadcasting today, you can head over to LifeAlongTheStreetcar.org and check out pretty much a hundred and nineteen episodes of information about the urban core.
Tom Heath: Tucson Change Movement is a community-driven, merchant-inspired effort to end homelessness in Tucson. Now, if you’re downtown, if you’re in the Fourth Avenue area over near the convention center, you might see really bright blue parking meters in areas where no vehicle should ever try to park. Those meters are part of a program called the Tucson Change Movement. The City of Tucson, through Park Tucson collects, the coins and processes the credit card donations that are made at those meters. These proceeds are used to support the Tucson homeless work program and it gives people experiencing homelessness a pathway off the streets through work. Participants have access to Transportation food and some medical screening. They perform various tasks throughout the city and are paid a minimum wage at the end of their shift. The work program is supported through several entities in Tucson. And the first fifty thousand dollars of the Tucson Change Movement is earmarked for that effort.
Tom Heath: When we first launched this show back in 2017. One of our very first interviews was with the Park Tucson administrator Donovan Durbin and wanted to see how this partnership came to be.
Donovan Durbin: Okay. Well, I’m the administrator for Park Tucson, which is a division of the City of Tucson transportation department. How that relates to Tucson Change Movement is that when you know, the downtown Merchants Council was involved with some of these issues with the homeless, the Occupy Movement and all the you know, the sort of the concentration of what was going on at Venta de Agosto Park two or three years ago, and it was frustrating for a lot of people And the merchants, you know wanted to become part of the solution and not just complain. John Jacobs was the head of the merchants Council the time they had an idea of you know, finding a way to raise money in these downtown 4th Avenue areas to help provide funds for homeless Services.
Donovan Durbin: The idea of collecting money with parking meters is not new to Tucson, you’ll see them in cities all over the place. So they have the idea. Why don’t we do that? That so John approached me and said do you have some old meters that we could, you know Surplus and use for this purpose. And I said I can do you one better. Basically we can get a donation from our meter vendor, which is IPS Group San Diego that manufactures the smart meters that we installed almost 3 years ago now.
Donovan Durbin: They gladly did, they gave us 20 meters. They offered to custom paint them. Color scheme, that would be different from the regular parking parking meters which are silver and black basically and you know, we wanted them to be distinct, you know bright eye-catching and clear that they weren’t for parking stall them in areas where you know, they’re not like right next to the curb. They’re not next to a parking space. So they shouldn’t be confusing anybody that you know, you put money in you’re going to get parking time. So right now we have 18 meters installed with Two more and we’re working with the University of Arizona to identify locations to put two of these meters there.
Donovan Durbin: So basically our role Park Tucson is that we install the meters and we maintain them and we also do the collections and we do, you know, the bookkeeping as far as the credit card income and stuff and we send the check to the Community Foundation which then gets it off to the Tucson homeless work program. Which is a new program. I think it started last December where the homeless are given an opportunity to work a shift doing real labor that’s needed, you know to clean up the city and then they’re paid paid minimum wage so they can actually move themselves into a better circumstance. So that’s ultimately where the money is going for the next year or two.
Tom Heath: Well, the change movement is still underway. They’re still collecting funds, they’ve not hit their fifty thousand dollar cap, but there is efforts underway to expand the program. Not just with the The Meters but to also put in some collection boxes and other highly visible places so more to come on that but as you’re out and about downtown be on the lookout for these big blue meters and then as you see the Tucson Change Movement starting to grow its presence, support them with any loose change might have and make sure people if they ask you you tell them what it’s all about.
Tom Heath: My name is Tom Heath. You are listening to Life along the streetcar on Downtown Radio 99.1 FM and available for streaming on Downtown Radio dot org. Well, you may know if you listen to show frequently that I also host a tour on a bus that looks like a trolley the Tucson Trolley Tours. We do that every Saturday from 9 to noon, kind of bringing the show on the road, so to speak and we do a nice three hour tour of Tucson.
Tom Heath: And one of our features is discussing the Main Gate Square area and we like to tell the story of Louise Foucar Marshall. She is someone who’s had a an impact here in Tucson and the storied history of Tucson. It’s really kind of hard to account for all of those that have had a hand in making the community that we are, and Louise Foucar Marshall was a visionary.
Tom Heath: She relocated to Tucson for health reasons in the Late 1800s and seized on an opportunity to move from a graduate student to the U of A’s first female professor. She also saw economic opportunities. She came up in a household where her father was an entrepreneur and she saw economic opportunities with the land outside of the University. She saw this big open space between the U of A and downtown and felt it It should be something that gets filled in so she started purchasing chunks of land and by 1922. She had a good chunk of the land around the university area.
Tom Heath: She built housing for students and she developed a retail Center and that is the area that we now call Main Gate Square. Ironically. She also believed that there need to be a link between the university and downtown and was an early stockholder and one of the first streetcar rail efforts. Personally, she advocated for students and she even offered financial support to them and their families to open up more opportunities.
Tom Heath: Well, appreciative of her parents ability to financially afford a great education, Marshall started this Foundation. Louisa Foucar became married with the last name of Marshall. She started the foundation to help provide for others here. We are ninety, a hundred years later the Marshal exhibit the foundation still exists. It still supports students. It still supports local nonprofits and to this day. It’s continuing to execute the vision of its founder Louise food commercial. Early on in our show again back in 2017. We spoke with Jane McCollum. She is the general manager for the Marshal Foundation.
Tom Heath: She is still there today, Jane’s been with him for about 15, probably 17 years at this point and she shared how the foundation is fulfilling Louise Marshals desire to be a community and University supporter.
Jane McCollum: Its history began in 1898 when Louise Foucar Marshall, who was then Louise Foucar arrived from the University of Denver women’s college and came to the university as a graduate student. In fact, the first graduate student from out of state at the University. and then shortly after that she became an instructor and shortly after that was meeting the department had modern and ancient languages at the University of Arizona. She started buying up land in 1901. She had a small amount of money that she had both from her teaching but also from going home in the summer of back to Boston to work for her family’s business, which was the factory that made patent leather because her father founded the formula, so she started buying up land on the North side of University between Park and Euclid.
Tom Heath: What was there at the time wasn’t it? Just desert?
Jane McCollum: It was all land land of look like, you know, but if Seen those pictures of the University of Arizona gate in the early days where we tried to keep the cows out. It was a dusty road. So it was vacant land, but she saw the potential. In fact, the reason that she came at that time was she had ill health Denver was not the place for her to be because of its high altitude. She wanted to go to graduate school, but she also wanted to become an instructor in the opportunities were there and Tucson was starting to Boom. She ended up at the University and saw that most of the activity in all of Tucson was centered around the downtown area and the railroad trap and so in 19. I want to say 1903 she brought three shares of rail Street Railway stock, which is ironic today because she thought that the streetcar should run from downtown to the University of Arizona. that’ll never work. That’ll never work. But if you know in retrospect, it’s just an irony but it was something that made us really want to support the streetcars arrival in this area.
Jane McCollum: So she developed she builds houses. Mostly between Tindel and Euclid and then retail on the north side of University to park the Tucson Post Office used to be here. If she did a businesslike University Drive them somebody else wanted to open a business like that. If she opened a grocery store somebody else would open a grocery stores.
Tom Heath: Now this time frame were turn of the century. What did she faced obstacles because she’s a female in this industry or is it just something that she wasn’t an obstacle. She just did it.
Jane McCollum: I Don’t know if Tucson was different than other places because of the Wild Wild West theme but it didn’t seem unusual. I don’t I haven’t read anything where she faced those obstacles. I do think she recognized that women faced obstacles in getting an education and she was very lucky because her parents had provided her with one and so she started helping women at the University they come and study at her house. And that was the beginning of the founding of Pi Beta Phi Sorority which she had been a member of when she was at the University of Denver women’s college.
Jane McCollum: She did meet her future husband Tom Marshall and a class that she was teaching. She was a young Professor and he was an old student and in 1904 5 they eloped El Paso and were married. She formed the foundation in 1930 and then in 1931 on April 27 that she shot Tom Marshall five times while he slept. She was put under house arrest for assault with a deadly weapon.
Tom Heath: Didn’t she feel like she was being threatened by him?
Jane McCollum: She went to the doctor and the fall of 1930 right after they form the foundation in January and said to the doctor, “I think my husband’s poisoning me with Arsenic and having an affair with the housekeeper.” The telegram came back from the person would analyze the samples in Chicago saying she needs to move from the house or life is being threatened. She didn’t do that, but she did fire. They did fire the housekeeper. And Louise became a very different woman according to her friends and she was scared.
Tom Heath: And there were some validation because she actually was later acquitted wasn’t she for
Jane McCollum: She was acquitted. I think the trial lasted 12 days the jury deliberated for 30 minutes and found her not guilty due to Temporary Insanity.
Tom Heath: So somewhere in between the poisoning the Affairs the murder and the drama, they started a foundation and I found interesting. I was just doing some research. It looks like he was actually the President of the foundation was and
Jane McCollum: I think that was a male-female things. She it was actually her money. She had inherited $40,000 from her mother when she died and that’s what they used to form the foundation and she chose scholarships for women as one of the things she was also sickly and so she loves giving to hospital. She lived until 92 she became a recluse very shortly after the trial but continued to do good things. She started the nursing scholarships that we give today And we currently give away five hundred thousand dollars in scholarships to Arizona students to attend the University of Arizona how often you can weigh 500 thousand dollars here.
Tom Heath: So this Foundation started with well, I assume a chunk of money $40,000 at the time. It was land Acquisitions the built it the she also manage the properties as we manage the properties.
Jane McCollum: She actually was part business owner in the University drug and After she died the Marshall Foundation board of directors, which is purely volunteer have managed it ever since we specifically now are supporting things that are more geared towards education. That was a strategic. Decision made five years ago as we looked at our community and where the needs were and where we felt the money could best be invested would be in trying to lift everybody we could out of poverty. So the things that you think of that are directly related to education would be scholarships to go to college. We know that people who graduate from college have much higher earning potential than those who graduate from high school.
Tom Heath: Sounds like when miss Marshall was starting that was her focus with students Health Community families. Right?
Jane McCollum: And I don’t think it’s changed a lot. The things that indirectly affect people’s learning are starvation, you know, if you’re hungry, you can’t learn and that is something that we’ve learned and we want to give to Social Services that help put food in people’s stomachs so that they can concentrate in school. One of the things people don’t think about is if you have health issues and in Young children, it’s particularly in the area of you know dental health. So we’ve given to some dental health people because it really helps them not have the pain that prevents them from being able to study. So there’s a there’s a lot of things that affect people’s ability to learn. We always talk about the home environment and there’s some there’s some simple things that we forget about like Health.
Tom Heath: Are your donations primarily centered around activities at the University or by year old.
Jane McCollum: It’s all over to see Pima County is where we give now the only exceptions as will give scholarships to Arizona students to come to view of it. As long as they are Arizona resident and then I’m assuming the board makes those decisions before and makes those decisions. Yes. We have two main Cycles one is in January which closes January 31st. It’s open now for people to apply we have another one that is in May. It’ll open probably in March. They have been on profit. They have to fit in with the foundation’s mission and I’m assuming Marshall foundation.com the on there. There’s probably an application there is you just go into the portal you create a username and a password and the instructions are there.
Tom Heath: Again, that was our interview with Jane Macomb of the Marshall Foundation from back in 2017. Marshall Foundation is still alive and doing very well and the check out the website for more details. Well, my name is Tom Heath. You are listening to Life along the streetcar on Downtown Radio 99.1 FM and we’re also available for streaming on Downtown Radio dot-org.
Tom Heath: Tour support is greatly appreciated and very necessary and you can head over to Downtown Radio dot organ find that donate button. If you’re so inclined to support out the support the station and our volunteer staff of DJs and show hosts who love what we do and appreciate the opportunity to do it here in Tucson.
Tom Heath: One the other areas in which I’m a volunteer is the Tucson Festival of Books, think they’re heading into their 12th. I don’t know. It could be a Thirteenth Year. I think its 12th year. I’ve actually been a volunteer since day one. I saw an ad in the paper that they needed some volunteers. I showed up and haven’t left. The two Day events estimates now that they bring in around a hundred and forty thousand people to the University of Arizona campus. This year it’s going to be March 14th and 15th.
Tom Heath: The Tucson Festival of books is a free festival and they donate back to local organizations that support literacy efforts here in Tucson, and they do that through sponsorships. Exhibitor spaces advertising and other donations from kind folks. They recently surpassed the two million dollar Mark for programs. And that is just a fantastic number for something that is a completely free Festival, but I wanted to take a moment right now, even though we’re talking about March because we’re ramping up for volunteers for the Festival of books. And wanted to talk to you a little about that, but first I want to thank and congratulate the the team that puts the Tucson Festival of books on and those Partnerships have go back to the beginning of the festival from day one. It’s always been these Core group of individuals that have put this Festival on year over year.
Tom Heath: On the surface, the festival looks like it did in year one with just kind of a larger footprint, you know, but the In the scenes has been a lot of enhancements every year. It’s improved the experience of the author’s the volunteers the attendees. One of the biggest improvements has come in the form of technology and that has been provided primarily from a team at the Arizona Daily Star. So these individuals attend meetings throughout the year and they’re on site during the days of the festival and they evaluate the technological experience for the attendee for the volunteer and for the authors. So imagine back in year 1, 12 some years ago. Everything was done off of an insert from the Arizona Daily Star and we had a couple of maps that people could grab and they could make notes and circle things and find their way around. Well now we have a very sophisticated app. You can find that the Tucson Festival of books app and it is the go-to resource for volunteers and for guests.
Tom Heath: You can navigate your entire experience through that app the map Was getting much more sophisticated and it’s the search function is becoming a lot better as well. So if you’re heading out to the festival books you want to use that application and know that the folks at the Daily Star have have put together that for us.
Tom Heath: The next big partner is Arizona Party Rental and sadly the owner of that, Ken Flowers sadly passed away somewhat unexpectedly. Towards the end of 2019 and won’t be with us for the festival books, but there will be some recognition in a little area carved out in Ken’s honor because he again with his team back back to day one and not just helping put up the tents which they do but they also help exhibitors unload their vehicles. They use their heavy equipment like their forklifts to To unload some of the larger crates from the bigger venue bigger exhibitors. They just basically Provide support wherever is needed. So the team at Arizona Party Rental then really look at something whether it’s in their job description out. They just look to how they can help the festival and sincere one the University of Arizona. It’s a partner that the festival really I don’t think could could have could have succeeded without the support of the university and that partnership there.
Tom Heath: My role, personally in the festival comes to working very closely with that staff at the University throughout the year. So the the amazing efforts that they do or not something I could cover here just a few minutes that we have left on the show, but I wanted to let you know that the facilities team over there takes a lot of Pride and each individual employee someone who donate their time some of who are paid through their departments to work. They all exhibit this sense of pride pride at the immaculate condition of the grounds. Immediate response to any facility related issues and pride in the impression that the university leaves with these hundred forty some folks. Well, it’s a year-round effort. It starts in March 14th and 15th. So you can join these Partners the festival books the Tucson University of Arizona and you can also be part of our volunteer effort head over to Facebook page the Life Along The Streetcar Facebook page right after the show click the link for the to Jean Festival books and join this amazing team of people that celebrate literacy in Tucson.
Tom Heath: Well, we’re going to leave you a little music today from local star Mattea. This is her song Oh neighbor because we’re talking about neighborly things. They have a great week and tune in next Sunday for more Life along the streetcar.