Mesa CARES Call Center

Our mission is to assist Mesa residents, businesses, and non-profits who have been impacted by COVID-19 by guiding them to information, resources, and services available from both the City of Mesa and external agencies.

Desired Outcomes

Mesa residents, businesses, and non-profits have a central and reliable source to learn about available resources related to Mesa CARES.

In the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic in Arizona, the pressing need to provide direct community assistance to residents of the City of Mesa was clear. Mesa Public Library staff, as information specialists, emerged to help answer the COVID related questions of residents, businesses, and community organizations and connect them to Mesa based resources and assistance in the form of the Community Resource Call Center. In addition to operating the call center, staff distributed thousands of flyers promoting the new program throughout the City. 
The City of Mesa then launched its Mesa CARES Business Reemergence Grant program. Library staff received training from the Economic Development department to provide assistance to business owners completing the online form for requesting rent/mortgage and utilities assistance. Staff also provided critical support in working directly with business owners to ensure they submitted a complete online application with the correct supporting documents.
As the application phase of the Business Reemergence Grant program ended, call center staff transitioned to the next phase of business support, the Technical Assistance program.  In addition, Call Center staff are working with City of Mesa Housing and Community Development to support Mesa residents seeking assistance through the Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program.
For more information on the Technical Assistance and Small Business Reemergence Programs, visit

Mesa CARES Incoming Calls

On March 31st, Mesa Public Library was notified that they would be opening as a call center to connect residents to local resources the following week. With the support of the City’s Department of Innovation and Information Technology, staff worked through the weekend to provide the infrastructure and training to successfully answer CARES calls from their homes.

Important Dates for Call Center
April 6 - Mesa CARES Call Center opened.
April 15- May 1 - Street Team distributes Mesa CARES flyers.
May 11 - May 24 - Business Reemergence Grant application period. 
June 8 - Technical Assistance Program began.
August 17 - Call Center staff began assisting with the Eviction and Foreclosure Protection Program.
September 1 - Disconnect letters, door hangers, and calling campaign begins notifying delinquent utility accounts of possible disconnect on Oct. 1.

Call Type - Incoming Calls
Callers selected their primary concern before connecting to an agent.  Options are:
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Technical Assistance
  • Business
  • Food
  • Employment
  • Medical
  • Senior Citizen 
  • All Other
Outgoing Calls
Outbound call volume increased during marketing campaigns for CARES, Technical Assistance Program, and during time-sensitive application phases when multiple follow-ups with applicants were needed. 

Street Team

On April 15, the Mesa CARES Call Center began contacting businesses to see if they would display program information. Staff made 536 outbound calls to spread the word and offer flyers for distribution. The next day, an email went to all Library staff asking for volunteers to be part of this elite team. On April 17, the first duo hit the street delivering 200 flyers. In the following two weeks a team of seven delivered 3,000 flyers to all corners of Mesa and 50 additional local businesses were emailed flyers.
Shirley Mahaffey is a Library Assistant at the Main Library with a heart for helping. Eager to assist the Mesa CARES Street Team she was one of the first street team volunteers. Energized after her first delivery she quickly became our field advisor. Seeing the need in the community and knowing what Mesa CARES could offer she brainstormed and suggested a number of ways to spread the word. By the end of April she had delivered nearly 1000 flyers to businesses, churches, and schools. Shirley is a Mesa CARES superhero.
My favorite CARES story: On May 27, 2020, my work shift was about to end when it was brought to my attention that my Spanish-speaking skills would be needed to call Natalia Serna, a Spanish-speaking business owner for Sinaloa Fashion. The matter was urgent since Natalia needed to have her Small Business Reemergence Program application completed with the proper documentation by May 29th at 5:00 pm. She picked up the call, and I informed her about the updated documents that needed to be emailed to Mesa CARES as soon as possible. Before ending the call, Natalia wanted to thank the entire Mesa CARES team for helping her with her BRE application. Natalia would be in for a surprise only to find out a couple weeks later that her store would be awarded for utility and rental assistance.

Working Together! Mesa CARES

Additional Information