Casa de los Ninos expansion plans

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- A Tucson non-profit organization is learning how long the expansion process can take.

Between getting zoning changes approved by the city, plus negotiating with the neighborhood association on what it can and can't do, there is a lot of red tape.

But Casa de los Ninos just passed a major hurdle in expanding to better serve the community.

Casa de los Ninos serves families in pima county by providing help and shelter to children in abusive households. And that takes place at its main campus on Speedway between 4th and 5th Avenues.

But it has several other offices working on abuse prevention programs, spread throughout Tucson.

"Our expansion has really been in community based programs. so much of the service we now do is in the homes of children and families in the community," said Susie Huhn from Casa de los Ninos.

Their goal is to bring all of Casa de los Ninos' programs and offices home, to one campus.

"Many families are touched by some of our programs.  To have them all in one site, provides a convenience to families but also a continuity of care as families go from one program to another," said Huhn.

For about a year now Casa has owned an entire block, but it was zoned as residential.  Now that the commercial zoning is approved, Casa can finally expand.

Now that they've cleared the zoning issue with the city, Casa is working with the neighborhood association which wants to preserve the old houses on the block.

"It's really about consolidating our space as well," said Huhn.

They're excited about moving forward on the project and continuing Casa's mission.

The expansion and consolidation helps grow Casa de los Ninos' prevention programs. The shelter can house up to 45 kids at any one time.