Arrested by Grace

"It's almost over," Taryn told herself. She had driven this route between Phoenix and El Paso dozens of times before, but she had never carried this much over state lines. She was nervous. It was early morning when she pulled up to the drop-off location in the desert outside of El Paso. A group of men were waiting for her.

As she had done several times before, Taryn got out and walked over to hand them the keys to her car. But instead of giving her a new set of keys for the drive home, one of them pulled out a gun and pressed

it against her head. “He told me he didn’t want the car. This had never happened…I was terrified, I thought I was going to die! But then he walked me backwards to my car and told me to leave.” Taryn headed back to Phoenix, shaken. But what terrified her more than what just happened was what was going to happen when she returned in the vehicle she left with. Not knowing what else to do, she cried out to God for a way out.

Not long after, Taryn got an answer to her prayers. Outside of Benson, Arizona, in a car filled with drugs, she looked up to find red and blue lights flashing in her rearview mirror.

Taryn was born on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Although many of us dream of being surrounded by lush rainforest and white sandy beaches, Taryn’s life has been anything but paradise. Her father was a drug-dealer, a member of a motorcycle gang and an abusive husband. Her mother fled to the mainland, leaving

Taryn behind. Through it all she learned to adapt. But when she was 20 years old, life dealt her a blow that she simply couldn’t bear. Her 3-year-old son was taken from her in a fatal car accident. “It was too much,” Taryn admits, wiping away the tears. “After losing him I started numbing myself with cocaine and alcohol to deal with the pain.” She followed her mother to the mainland in hopes of leaving behind the drugs and reminders of the accident. It worked for a while. She settled down in Phoenix, reunited with her mother, and had two daughters. But when she learned that her daughters were unhappy living in Arizona, she sent them back to live in Kauai at the advice of her grandmother. It was like losing her son all over again. “When they left, I felt like my whole world was gone.

I started going out and finding all the wrong places and getting to know all the wrong people. I went back to using again. I got involved in transporting drugs.” Not long after, life found Taryn pulled over outside of Benson in a car packed with illegal drugs. “I was carrying 82 pounds of methamphetamine and 52 pounds of marijuana when the police pulled me over. I knew at that moment that God was answering my prayers.” Taryn was arrested and was looking at a sentence of 10-15 years in prison. But God intervened a second time. Incredibly, an error in the paperwork submitted at trial reduced Taryn’s sentence to just 8 months!

Tiffany (left) was instrumental in directing Taryn to the Changing Lives Center. Your support allowed us to be there for her when she needed it most.

Nearing the end of her sentence, sitting in jail, Taryn realized that she didn’t know what to do next. She couldn’t return to her apartment and a lifestyle that would get her killed. She reached out to God a second time. “I asked him, ‘What do I do? I need you, I need to find you. Where do I go?’ At that moment, a woman tapped me on the shoulder. She said, ‘If you need God, then you need the Changing Lives Center.’”

Taryn looked us up and sent a letter asking for help. We answered the call. “Tiffany [a graduate of the Phoenix Rescue Mission Women’s Recovery Program] came to visit me. I told her my story. She said that when I got out in July that I would have a bed waiting for me! The day I got out I left everything behind, my apartment, everything I owned, got on a bus and headed for the CLC.”

Waiting for a spot in our Ministry Training Program, Taryn assists in distributing clothes and supplies in our R.A.P. (Rescue Assess Place) unit.

Thanks to your support, we were able to welcome Taryn with open arms and share with her the love of Christ. Just out of prison, she needed clothes, toiletries and shoes – you lovingly provided. You gave her access to counselors and staff who are trained to address more than just her addiction. They went deeper, to the root of the problem – helping her bring wounds from her childhood and losing her son out of the darkness and lay them at the feet of Jesus.

“This place has changed my life in ways I could never imagine. I realize now that I hardly knew God when I came here. I thought, ‘How was God going to ever forgive a sinful person like me?’ But thanks to the CLC, I’m a new creation in Christ. I’m not the same person I was when I walked in.” Today, Taryn is a graduate of our recovery program. She is sober and plans on applying for a spot in our rigorous Ministry Training program – to share the healing she has found here with the world around her. “This place has been a blessing. Knowing what God has done in my life, I want to pass on that blessing.” Thank you for the prayers and support that give men and women like Taryn a chance to find hope, transformation and a new future inside our doors!

RAP Unit : First Steps to New Life

RESCUE ASSESS PLACE

R.A.P. is a maximum 7-day Christ-centered residential program for men, women, and mothers with children facing homelessness and seeking recovery from addiction or other life-controlling problems. RAP meets basic needs, builds relationships, provides opportunity for Christian growth, and assesses clients in order to place them in the appropriate solution pathway. RAP is provided for men at the Community Services Center (CSC) and for women at the Changing Lives Center (CLC).

Not everyone needs shelter or addiction recovery services. Sometimes resume help, and a supportive environment are all a guest needs to get back on his or her feet. Others require extensive recovery time, counseling, and vocational development to find their way back to wholeness. Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all program, R.A.P is designed to be the first step in breaking down all the services we offer and tailoring them to each individual we serve.

The R.A.P. program is coming up on it's one-year anniversary from when the program began.

In celebration of the program's one-year anniversary, R.A.P. is getting an incredible donation from Thunderbird's Charities of $100,000! This cause will directly impact the Changing Lives Center's R.A.P. program. Blake, the assistant case manager says, "this donation will get the R.A.P. unit moving to the next level by giving us more space and organization, and make it feel more like a home then a storage unit." The funds will go towards the re-model and renovation of the Changing Lives Center's R.A.P. office and classroom, along with a space for children in the R.A.P. unit.

Since July 2016, the Changing Lives Center at the Mission has had 269 women admitted into R.A.P. 65% (176) of those women finished their R.A.P. program, 67% (119) of those ladies entered into our Transformations program. And of those women that didn’t enter into our program, fifty seven women were referred to external housing, or another program that better suited their needs.

Never before have we been able to offer so many life-transforming services and at the same time tailor them to such a personal level. We expect to see God working like never before in the lives of those we serve and it's all thanks to the support of friends like you. Programs like this wouldn't be possible without the time, talent, and treasure you give in love!

Back when we first introduced the R.A.P. program, "RAP Man" came to the Changing Lives Center and got our community excited about what the R.A.P. program would offer individuals as they take the first steps towards recovery. Can I get a BOOM BOOM CLAP?!

General Mills is Making an Impact

Thank you General Mills for your generous grant of $20,000 to support the Phoenix Rescue Mission's Nourishing Hope: Feeding the Hungry in Phoenix Program.

The impact this program had over the past twelve months included: 

  • Providing 330,554 healthy meals for homeless children and adults in the congregate dining rooms of our men's shelter and the Changing Lives Center for Women and Children.
  • Distributing thousands of sack lunches and 1,116,479 bottles of water to homeless people through our Hope Coach during the scorching Phoenix summers, it was imperative that the homeless people have plenty of water to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Providing more than 10,000 food bags filled with nutritious nonperishable items (fruits, vegetables, tuna, peanut butter, etc.) to working poor families who struggle to make ends meet. Each food bag can feed a family of four for up to four days.

 

General Mills' grant provided for more that 25,000 of these meals!

Thank you for your compassion for our hungry and homeless and working poor individuals and families in our community!

 

How Can I Make A Difference?

Do you want to make a difference in your community, but not sure how to get started? You can support the Phoenix Rescue Mission just by making some simple changes to your daily routine! Getting your groceries for the month? Enroll with Fry's Community Rewards, it's simple, just click here and "Enroll Now" select the Phoenix Rescue Mission and your transforming lives even as you shop! This is just the start ..

Doing some shopping on Amazon? Sign up here and choose the Phoenix Rescue Mission as your charity! You CAN make a difference! Make these small changes to your daily choices and help the hungry and homeless right in your community.

Are you interested in getting involved in the Mission? Do you want to see the lives transformed for yourself? Join us and make an impact! Check out our Volunteer Page and see how your special skills could help a neighbor in need.

It's because of supporters like you, the Mission is able to offer life-transforming solutions to individuals facing hunger and homelessness right here in Phoenix. We couldn't do it without your support, THANK YOU!