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.