The Changing Lives Center for Women & Children

As the only faith-based recovery program in the region offering long-term, comprehensive services to women and children, the Changing Lives Center helps to transform people from the inside out.

Nearly 40% of Maricopa County’s homeless people are women and children in families.

Charity was about to lose the only thing in life that mattered: Her 6-year-old daughter, Savannah. Charity’s expensive heroin addiction led to burglary and shoplifting . . . and then an arrest. She lost custody of Savannah, and was looking at a prison sentence of 10-15 years. “The only bright spots in my life were when Savannah would visit me in jail,” Charity says.

When Charity’s lawyer heard about the Changing Lives Center for Women & Children at Phoenix Rescue Mission, he asked the judge if he’d consider an alternative “sentence,” by sending Charity to the recovery program instead. Miraculously, the judge agreed.

“Instead of punishment,” Charity says, “I got mercy.”

As the only faith-based recovery program in the region offering long-term, comprehensive services to women and children, the Changing Lives Center helps to rebuild lives. The facility can house and provide for approximately 200 women and children. The 12- to-18-month program provides a stable, nurturing environment where women work through addiction and abuse issues. They receive life skills education and counseling, and ultimately become self-sufficient through career assessment and job placement.

Charity ended up kicking her heroin habit and regaining custody of Savannah.

Her story is typical of many women — and their children — on the streets who experience despair, loneliness, and hopelessness. 37 percent of Maricopa County’s homeless are families, primarily women and children.

Whether escaping a domestic violence situation, battling addiction, or suffering other trauma, homeless women and children are vulnerable to even more dangers. They need a safe place to start over, where they can begin to turn their lives around.

The Changing Lives Center is that safe place.

Just ask Charity. “The CLC had everything I needed,” she says. “The classes, transportation, even my meals and housing were provided. I didn’t have to think about anything other than getting better.”

Today, Charity is a new person in Christ, has a steady job, and a bright future. “Knowing God’s love is unconditional makes all the difference. It’s given me the peace I was looking for all along.”

Read Charity's full story here.

(To see more photos of the Changing Lives Center, view our gallery here.)

Want to see the life transformation for yourself? We give tours of the Changing Lives Center every month and we'd love to have you join us! Groups are welcome. See the Tour Schedule

Support the Changing Lives Center

The demand for services to women and children is growing rapidly. We’ve gone from serving 22 women and 20 children in 2012 when the Changing Lives Center first opened, to nearly 100 women and 36 children in 2018 — and so many more families need help. Support them with a gift today!

Volunteer at the Changing Lives Center

There are a number of ways you can help out at the CLC, especially as a teacher’s assistant or as a childcare helper. Rock a baby, teach a tot his ABCs, read to a toddler. We also need certified personal trainers and/or aerobics instructors to teach classes.