If you’ve traveled south of Buckeye on 35th Avenue lately, you’ve noticed something new.
A phoenix can be seen rising from the streets – a striking symbol of renewal, hope, and transformation.
That phoenix, and the new four-story Life Recovery Building on which it rests, is a beacon of hope to the hungry and hurting of our community, declaring that new life is not only possible – it’s within reach – at Phoenix Rescue Mission.
Inside this special edition newsletter, we invite you to take a tour, led by staff and recovery graduates, to show you what God’s providence and your support and prayers have done – and why our city will never be the same.
“Everyone is affected by homelessness, whether it’s a friend, a neighbor, a son or daughter, a grandchild. They are part of our lives; they live in our community and it is so important that everyone steps up and participates. We are a family in this city and if not us, then who?”
Jan Brewer, Honorary Campaign Chair, former Governor of Arizona
The day is finally here, the realization of a dream years in the making!
For years, our men’s campus, known as the Transforming Lives Center, has been in serious need of expansion. As our city grew, and with it, the homeless population, the Mission was forced to get creative to keep up. We refined our services, implemented new programs, streamlined the recovery process to maximize every inch of space and every opportunity God presented to change a life.
But efficiency only takes you so far.
Being “at capacity” was fast becoming routine. That’s a problem when the people you serve straddle the line between life and death on a daily basis. Turning people away isn’t an option.
The only remedy was to start building and the Expanding Hope campaign was born.
Today, the Life Recovery Building is open for life-transforming work. Four stories and 56,000 sq ft now tower over 35th Avenue, a testament to God’s provision and our community’s heart to care for the homeless and hurting.
The first question people ask when they see it is, “What are you going to do with all that space?”
The answer: We’re going to use it to transform lives like never before.
More Beds = More Transformation
The addition of the Life Recovery Building means our capacity to serve men has dramatically increased. Not only has our bed count grown from 160 to 360, the overall quality of those spaces has increased as well. Instead of hosting up to 40 men in a single room, this new building allows for a dorm-style approach of 2-4 men per room – greatly improving comfort for those working to rebuild their lives.
“Having 40 men to a room honestly felt a little like jail,” laughs Alfaro, Recovery Graduate and current Ministry Training student at the Mission. “Going to two men per room will give us our own space for the first time. That’s important. To be able to come here and have a bed was a blessing but now to have your own little space makes a huge difference.”
Each room is equipped with either single beds or bunk beds depending on program level, air conditioning, fresh bedding, closet space, under bed locker space, and a table and chairs for study.
Alfaro, Recovery Graduate and Ministry Training Student
When Alfaro was introduced to his new room for the first time, he was ecstatic.
“The new building is beautiful and the fellowship here is phenomenal. I’m rebuilding bridges with my family and my kids. It’s a blessing to have a new place to fellowship in together.”
More Classes = More Growth
When you’re impacting the lives of an additional 200 men, you need the classroom space to accommodate. At full capacity in our old building, we had to use chapel and dining space as classrooms. But no longer. The new dividable chapel/classroom space will be a game-changer.
“Before, everyone was using the chapel for this and that, including chapel time,” says Richard, one of our Recovery Coaches. “There was only ever enough time to teach one class a day. The new classroom/chapel space at the LRB will allow us to have several inner healing classes or foundations classes going at the same time.”
More classroom space also allows for a more structured curriculum for the entry-level men while strengthening current classes and adding teaching opportunities morning, noon and evening.
Richard, Recovery Coach
These new additions mean we’ll be able to offer better life skill development, family relationship counseling, education assistance, and meet more court-appointed curriculum.
“As more men enroll, we could end up teaching multiple classes a day and still see clients for counseling sessions,” says Richard, thinking about the possibilities. “That’s exciting!”
New Space = Better Community
This new addition isn’t just about improving current programs and services. The Life Recovery Building includes spaces designed to build community and foster strong relationships among our residents in ways we’ve never been able to offer before. Sam, who was a guest in his own home for years after other drug dealers and gang members let themselves in, welcomes the opportunity to experience real fellowship.
“I was living in a house that was taken over by dangerous people,” Sam remembers. “Even though it was my place, I was sleeping on my couch. I didn’t feel safe. There were nights where I didn’t know if I’d wake up the next morning. I’d have anywhere from 30-60 different people coming in and out of my house and yet I was very lonely.”
He continued, “The new common rooms at the Life Recovery Building will be the opposite. I’ll be around people who share the same trust that I have in Jesus, who want what’s best for me. I won’t feel like I need to have my guard up. I can be vulnerable and safe in this place. I’ll be part of a crowd that genuinely loves me.”
Sam, Recovery Graduate and Ministry Training Student
As a graduate of our recovery program and a current student in our rigorous Ministry Training program, Sam is looking to use his newfound skills in the common rooms to build relationships and build up the men following in his footsteps.
Outdoor Respite = Food for the Soul
The outdoor spaces are equally as inviting with tables and chairs for fellowship, and a soon-to-be-built prayer garden for solitude and reflection. For the first time, our recovery clients will have a much-needed quiet space to study, to pray and grow closer to the Lover of their soul.
“We want a place for people to get away and find some peace and quiet,” says Cliff Danley, our New Start Program and Aftercare Supervisor. “It can be hard to do that in a campus of 160, soon to be 360, men. In a long-term, Christ-centered recovery program, having some solitude can be underrated.”
From the new dorm-style beds to the expanded classroom and chapel area, to the common rooms and soon-to-be prayer garden, the Life Recovery Building represents a giant leap forward for transformation worthy to represent the King of kings.
Cliff, New Start Program and Aftercare Supervisor
“When you get into a place and the facilities are nice, that dignity really elevates a sense of wellness and value in a person,” says Cliff. “They’re going into a beautiful facility, they have a nice room, everything is new, and they get to be there. It lends itself to the overall sense of self-worth and confidence that they’re in the right place.”
Thanks to friends like you, hundreds more men this year will find dignity, new life, and a new path forward waiting for them inside our doors.
The sheer number of restored and redeemed fathers, brothers, sons, and husbands God will produce here as a result of your generosity is stunning to think about – not to mention the countless lives those transformed men will touch and change as they live out a new Christ-centered life.
“When you get settled in and get a chance to take stock of this place,” says Cliff, “it’s hard to ignore the fact that, ‘Wow, God did this.’”