RECOGNIZING THE CAREER OF CONNIE JONES; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 137
(Extensions of Remarks - August 20, 2019)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1062]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                 RECOGNIZING THE CAREER OF CONNIE JONES

                                 ______
                                 

                          HON. J. LUIS CORREA

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                        Tuesday, August 20, 2019

  Mr. CORREA. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor Connie Jones, who is 
retiring after 35 years of serving her community as Executive Director 
of the Southwest Minority Economic Development Association, which 
operates Santa Ana's Southwest Community Center.
  Each day, Ms. Jones and the Southwest Community Center carry out 
their mission of ``helping people help themselves.'' The Southwest 
Community Center serves as a vital life line to single mothers, 
seniors, veterans, recovering addicts, the disabled, the homeless, 
those who suffer from mental illness, as well as neighborhood families 
and children.
  Under Ms. Jones' direction, her dedicated staff and volunteers serve 
10,000 meals a month, distribute food baskets, clothing, provide health 
screenings, rental and utility assistance, transportation vouchers, job 
referrals, and much more. The Center has also created an environment 
that fosters friendship and a sense of belonging.
  Ms. Jones, a Santa Ana native, has worked tirelessly to continue the 
vision started by her grandmother, the late Annie Mae Tripp, who began 
serving meals in her garage to homeless men, while struggling to make 
ends meet as a domestic worker with seven children.
  From that starting point in 1970, her ministry for the poor and 
homeless expanded to a rented building that--with the help of other 
dedicated neighborhood women, area churches, community and business 
sponsors, and hundreds of volunteers--went from serving soup and bread 
to 12 homeless men to providing a life-saving services for thousands in 
need.
  Even a devastating fire in 2009 did not stop the success of the 
Southwest Community Center. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the 
Center continued operations in rented facilities until a beautiful new 
building opened two years later.
  The new Center was built nearly for free by contractors who wanted to 
give back to their community. One of those contractors grew up in the 
neighborhood served by the Southwest Community Center. The Center's 
services and caring atmosphere helped him thrive and succeed, which is 
also true for hundreds of other men, women, and children from this 
Santa Ana neighborhood.
  Ms. Jones' receipt of the ``Lifetime Achievement Award'' from the 
Community Action Partnership of Orange County is a true testament to 
her spirit and love for the Santa Ana community. It is my distinct 
honor to recognize my constituent and friend, Connie Jones, for her 
humanitarian accomplishments and I ask my colleagues to join me in 
congratulating her on her retirement.

                          ____________________