From Broken Trust to Transformed Life | Lorenzo’s Story

Lorenzo has new hope

Lorenzo finds real trust takes faith.

There’s nothing more central to who we are than where we place our trust. Scripture tells us it’s the very foundation our lives are built upon.

When Lorenzo was 13, that foundation was shaken to its core when his father left home. His grades slipped and participation in sports and other activities waned. But when he used that broken trust as an excuse to rebel, things went from bad to worse.

“I started hanging out with my cousins and getting involved with the side of my family that sold drugs. I dropped out of school my junior year and never went back. I couldn’t hold a job. Eventually, my family closed the door on me.”

Alone and homeless, Lorenzo felt like he had no one left to place his trust in but himself. Thankfully, there was one other option he hadn’t yet discovered – a solid place to put his trust that would change everything.

Early on, Lorenzo’s stepfather, a longtime detective for the Phoenix Police Department, recognized in his son the familiar patterns of a drug dealer and immediately put distance between Lorenzo and the family.

“My stepfather kicked me out when I was 23-years old. After that I never had a steady home; I was always jumping from place to place, in and out of jail, selling drugs and sleeping out of friends’ garages. I started stealing and even my friends in prison didn’t want to have anything to do with me. My addiction swallowed everything up.”

It wasn’t long before the emptiness inside Lorenzo began to manifest on the outside.

“I wasn’t maintaining good hygiene. My arms were torn up from IV usage. I stood out like a sore thumb. People wanted to stay away from me. The last 4 years were very rough. I just wanted a way out.”

After hearing about our recovery program in detox, Lorenzo came to Phoenix Rescue Mission in October of 2018. It was a step in the right direction. We helped him recognize the destructive patterns in his life and introduced him to Christ. But having been burned so many times in the past, Lorenzo wasn’t quite ready to put his trust in God. After 36 short days, he left the program and fell back into his addiction.

It’s a good thing for Lorenzo that God doesn’t give up that easily. Soon after leaving, Lorenzo was caught violating his probation. He was given the choice between prison time or building a solution pathway through recovery at the Mission. It was a no brainer.

“I’ve been to other places, but this was the only one I found where people were honest about trying to get clean. They taught me how to serve God and what it means to be a Christian, not in a judgmental way – they don’t do that here. We uplift each other and help each other out. It’s what I needed to finally buckle down and hit this head on.”

Lorenzo and Orin
Here with his fellow graduate Orin, Lorenzo is another transformed live. He is sober, a recovery graduate and part of our Ministry Training program. His relationship with his family is restored and he says, “It feels so good!”

In other words, Lorenzo finally found a safe place to put his trust – and it’s changed everything.

“I’ve learned that you can’t rely on your own strength. Only God can help you persevere.

With solid ground under his feet for the first time in his life, Lorenzo got to work correcting the mistakes of his past.

“Since I’ve been here, Phoenix Rescue Mission has helped me handle my legal issues, gave me the resources to pay back the restitution fees on my own and even helped restore the relationships with my family.”

All that time, God never let him down. Month after month, our counselors and staff helped him face his addiction and, more importantly, the roots that maintain a hold on his life. Through God’s grace and his diligence, he’s experienced true transformation.

His family, even his sharp-eyed stepfather, has seen the 180 degree change in Lorenzo over the past year – a revelation that has restored bonds broken for more than a decade.

“My family is starting to trust me again and it means the world to me. I’ve become a role model to my brothers. My stepfather and I are closer than ever now. They allow me to come over and spend the night, even drive their cars and use their bank cards! It feels so good.”

Today Lorenzo is sober, a recovery graduate and is currently helping others put their trust in God as part of our Ministry Training program. From rejected to role-model, he’s become a different man.

“The counselors and mentors here are all genuine. They’ve shown me that people do care. I have value and hope in my life now. They’ve instilled these values in me and now I’m working to help others.”

If there’s one thing to learn from this story, it’s that trust goes a long way. When you entrust Phoenix Rescue Mission with your time and treasure, you’re not only helping transform lives like Lorenzo’s, you’re reaching every person who sees that transformation and finds that it’s real. Your partnership is powerful.

Thank you for helping change our city life-by-life and day-by-day!

Lorenzo

“Scottsdale Works” program sees immediate success

The city of Scottsdale and Phoenix Rescue Mission are celebrating a successful first month of Scottsdale Works – Brick by Brick, an integrated workforce development program that aims to reduce homelessness in Scottsdale and put the city’s homeless to work.

“This program has been a blessing to both the participants and the community because people are getting connected to resources to end their homelessness,” said Phoenix Rescue Mission Street Outreach Supervisor Gabe Priddy.

One individual, Jason Smith, recently received keys to his first home since his life on the streets began in the mid-1990s.

Mr. Smith found work with Scottsdale’s program, which instilled in him a sense of worth and gave him hope that he could end his cycle of homelessness after all.

Read the news article on YourValley.net

Watch the news video from Fox10Phoenix.com

4 Years After Graduation | Rich, Street Outreach Case Manager

Where Are They Now? | Rich Heitz

Because of a cocaine addiction Rich picked up when he was 17, much of Rich’s early life was a blur.

“I spent 8 years locked up: 3 years in prison, 5 years in county jail,” Rich remembers.

“I was in and out of jail and homeless off and on for 7 years.”

With so much time on the inside, incarceration started to seem like a home away from home. So, when he was arrested again on a heroin charge in 2013, he told his probation officer to send him back to the yard. With a single word, the officer changed Rich’s life.

He said “No.”

“He told me that he could see in my eyes that I wanted to quit but couldn’t on my own. He sent me to Phoenix Rescue Mission instead.”

What Rich found here he couldn’t believe.

“When I saw the guys in the program, they were hugging each other and telling each other that they loved them. There was nothing weird about it. I liked that. It felt like a true brotherhood. People were actually looking out for each other and not trying to hold each other back. It was a life that I didn’t know existed prior to 2015.”

Three weeks later, Rich asked Jesus into his life and nothing has been the same since. He graduated from our recovery program in 2017.

“After I graduated, I started looking outside the Mission for employment. I had three great interviews. But then about a week later, I was called into the office at PRM. They asked me how I’d feel about working for them. God heard my prayers and opened doors for me.”

Today Rich is back on the streets, but this time, he’s spreading a word of hope, help, and transformation as part of our Street Outreach Team.

“I love it. I go everywhere: Avondale, Goodyear, Surprise, Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, Phoenix; wherever I’m needed. I walk up to people with needles in their arms and provide them with water, hygiene items and hope.”

From no future, to helping others find a brand-new future, that’s what your support of Phoenix Rescue Mission makes possible.

“Every day is different. God took an old burnout, running and gunning for 30 years, and now He has me working for his glory; I love it!”

Hope is Expanding – Ahead of Schedule!

Every day that goes by gets us a little closer to seeing this dream become a reality. Construction at the Transforming Lives Center on our new Life Recovery Building is moving now at a dizzying pace. The fourth floor has been added, the waterproofing and siding is going up, and we’re currently on the cusp of starting work on the interior.

In fact, things have been moving along so well that we’re actually ahead of schedule. The original estimate put the end of construction in early 2021, but as of today, it’s looking more like the end of this year!

Once construction is complete, we’ll still need to add fixtures, furniture and the like before opening the doors in early 2021. But every day we gain means that there will be much more opportunity to transform lives – and do it on a scale that’s never been possible before.

All we can say is – God is good!

Thank you for all the prayers blessing this work and speeding it along. We’re all so excited to see God use this new space to transform more lives than ever before, and Phoenix itself in the process!

You can see all the details about our progress of the Expanding Hope Capital Campaign at hopeforphx.org!

As COVID Continues, So Does Hope

Safely Reopening Hope for Hunger Food Bank

With the numbers of cases continuing to rise in Arizona, it doesn’t look like COVID is disappearing any time soon – but neither is hope!

Phoenix Rescue Mission is taking all recommended precautions to keep our guests safe on campus, as we give more men and women a chance at transformation. As a part of our new intake process, masks are mandatory, hands are thoroughly washed, and temperatures are taken at the door. The safety of our guests and staff are most important, and we’re doing all we can to protect and care for our people during these challenging times.

At our Hope for Hunger Food Bank, impacted families are finding boxes filled with nutritious veggies, meat and other produce ready and waiting. Surfaces are carefully cleaned and sanitized after use and safety is key. Families can rest easy knowing that the same recommended procedures that keep our guests safe in recovery are doing the job at Hope for Hunger as well.

Innovative procedures and systems have made it possible for us to open intake to our recovery programs again at a limited capacity.

Of course, it’s your prayers and partnership that keep hope alive, even during a pandemic. Thank you for your support that shines like a beacon in these trying times!

Tactfully reopening intake to recovery programs