Darren Chapman grew up in Phoenix and Los Angeles during the 1970s, going to school in both cities for half of the year. Darren was caught between two cities. But for Chapman, it was not much of an issue. Getting a nice long ride on to and between school and back was always enjoyable. “I would sit and look out those windows and go, ‘Wow, man. Look at all of that — just land. Birds swooping’,” he said. “For me, it was the coolest thing in the world.”
For most of Darren Chapman’s life, now 55, he felt that there were only two options for him in life. He could either make A name for himself in the rough neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Or he could create and help build up the community. Even though he was almost sure that he would never be fully accepted into it anyways.
South Phoenix Community Events – TigerMountain Foundation
Join TigerMountain Foundation in the Chain of Hearts 2020. This celebration is at The Garden of Tomorrow to honor TigerMountain Foundation. TigerMountain Foundation is a Phoenix non-profit that helps and empowers the growth of the community.
Our mission is simple: To empower communities to better themselves from within. We do this through community garden volunteer work through Co-Op gardens in Phoenix, AZ and landscaping initiatives. In South Phoenix and other challenged communities where we work, there are high rates of incarceration, poor health choices and a low ranking education system. So how do we combat these challenges? Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD). That just means we don’t give a handout, we give the community a hand up.
Since 2007, our MISSION is to empower people by building flourishing community gardens on vacant lots in South Phoenix. Additionally, they provide healthy eating and life skills support and workforce development through neighborhood revitalization and beautification.
Our VISION is to act as a change agent for healthy living. This is a healthy community where all citizens can reach their maximum potential. The areas of South Phoenix where TMF gardens are located is a food desert (>1 mile from available fresh produce). This has led to food insecurity and poor food choices which leads to issues of obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes. Gangs are prevalent leading to violence, drugs, and unhealthy life choices. In one of the highest rates of recidivism in the nation, many of our participants are referred from the justice system.
TigerMountain Foundation’s mission is to empower people by building flourishing community gardens, providing life skills support and workforce development through neighborhood revitalization and beautification.
As a change agent for healthy living, TMF envisions a healthy community where all citizens can reach their maximum potential.
What We Do:
Through our model of Asset Based Community Development, we motivate communities to better themselves from within. In South Phoenix and other challenged communities where we work, there are high patterns of incarceration, bad health choices and a low ranking education system along with closed schools.
To combat these challenges, we work hard to educate and inspire people within a broad intergenerational and multi-ethnic background. We have two important focus areas that govern and power the educational, instructional and mentoring engines of TigerMountain Foundation:
Community Gardens (Produce Production)
Through several years of seeing our impact, we have found that long term success looks like the following:
The restoration of pride in community through the beautification of vacant lots
A reduction of recidivism (80% of TMF participants stay in school or out of jail as opposed to the community’s current 81% jail recidivism)
A more productive youth with additional skills to prepare for employment and a better life
A stronger spirit of volunteerism and community engagement
How You Can Help:
Volunteer your time and expertise to help work in our community gardens; deliver fresh produce to a downtown food pantry; provide landscaping work to help low-income families
Donate cash to support our work (your donation can be BOTH a federal tax deduction and a state tax credit–meaning up to $400 annually will cost you nothing)