Stories of Transformation

Statistics about hunger and homelessness are important, but the real story is, well, the story behind each and every transformed soul.

The testimonies you’ll find here vividly illustrate what your support of the Phoenix Rescue Mission can do. The homeless find shelter. The hungry find food. The hopeless find hope.

Change happens. Here’s the proof.

Past Stories


By the time she was 16, she was hooked on heroin. By 20, she was homeless. By 28, she had lost custody of kids, possessions, and even broken ties to family because of her growing addiction. “I always thought that God had forgotten about me or that He hated me,” Maggi admits. “I was just so done. I knew I needed to do something.”

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On one hand, Demetria had an abusive boyfriend who would regularly break her phone to keep her cut off from help. On the other was her daughter, who Demetria felt needed a father. On top of it all, Demetria was addicted. The stress of her situation drove her deeper and deeper into her drug use.

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“My stepfather used to beat me up a lot. Then I found out he was hurting my sister. At fourteen, I attacked him.” It was an act that got Shawn sent to juvenile prison. But instead of rehabilitation, the years he spent there only confirmed violence was the answer to life’s problems. As an adult, he found a religion to justify his worldview — one that not only accepted violence, but actively encouraged it.

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Straight out of the gate, Spencer was saddled with an addiction that ruled his life and a lifestyle that ran counter to the law. By the time he was 30 years old, Spencer was living next to a dumpster and looking forward to 10 to 15 years in prison. His life was over before it had begun.

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“It was excruciatingly hot. I always did what I could to stay out of the sun.” Sergio knows how dangerous it is to be caught on our sweltering summer streets. For five long years, he did what he could to keep cool, to keep hydrated – to stay alive. “I would stay in abandoned trailers and sometimes hide out in the library. I’d only come out once the sun went down to search for businesses with spigots to get water.”

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When the Department of Child Safety showed up at her door, Jennifer knew firsthand the terror and confusion her children were about to go through. She had lived it. When she was two years old, she too had been removed from her parents’ custody. It was a past she did her best to put behind her.

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Steven has been wrestling with alcoholism since he was 15. His mom was an alcoholic and his dad turned a blind eye, so drinking came second-nature. After decades of use, alcohol’s hold on Steven was so strong that nothing could shake it, not even watching it take his mother’s life.

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“When I started on the Fentanyl, my life just spiraled. I quit working. I could hardly be a parent. I was a mess. My wife was getting fed up with it. When she found the pills, she confronted me and I didn’t have an explanation, so she kicked me out. It was over.”

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“I just couldn’t stop. There was this craving, this phenomenal craving that was so powerful. I told myself, I’m going to get over this in a week or a couple of months. Just let me enjoy myself for now. But it didn’t turn out like that. I ended up running around in the streets. I was couch surfing, living in hotels, doing drugs, drinking every day.”

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Isaac found himself on the streets after a rough divorce left him depressed and without much motivation to keep on going.  As a veteran of the Iraq war, his training taught him how vital it is to stay hydrated in the desert, but training only takes you so far without the basics. “That was the hardest thing about being on the streets. My shoes were falling apart, my clothes were in tatters. We would make makeshift tarps to stay out of the sun, but they didn’t last long.” Then Isaac felt a push in the right direction.

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“I was living a life of lies. I hadn’t seen my daughter in years, and I was strung out on drugs, I had nothing to my name.” In the midst of his despair, Brian got a message from an old friend that would change his life forever.

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My answer to everything was to party and smoke marijuana. I found some friends that introduced me to harder drugs and I was addicted.” Shortly after, our home became foreclosed, I was back to being homeless and was on and off the streets, in jail or doing drugs. Each time I was released from jail, there it was – the Hope Coach. You could say, at that point, it was the only consistent thing in my life. It made an impression, and ultimately changed my life forever.

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