Pima County Neighborhood Reinvestment Program grant proposal. Submitted Oct. 7, 2008.
The Dunbar Spring neighborhood is a small, historic, and culturally diverse neighborhood located just north of downtown Tucson. The name Dunbar Spring (not “springs”) is derived from two prominent Tucson citizens - African-American poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and John Spring who was one of Tucson’s first teachers. Dunbar Spring has had a strong cultural identity as the first African-American neighborhood in Tucson and several African-Americans families have lived there for many generations. The neighborhood is home to several churches as well as several social service agencies including the Salvation Army Hospitality House. Following the decline of downtown by the turn of the century, however, the neighborhood suffered from crime, abandoned properties, disinvestment and encroaching commercial development that was destroying the residential fabric of the neighborhood. Thanks to the commitment and energy of an increasing number of newcomers combined with the historical wisdom and values of our long-term residents, Dunbar Spring has begun to turn itself around and is becoming once again a vibrant community.