Stories of Transformation: Michelle

“God brought me here,” admits Michelle.

Just a few months ago, she was living out of a truck, strung out on drugs with her boyfriend. They had been evicted from their home and had nowhere else to go. The news of the eviction soon reached the ears of her son’s teachers and the custody of Michelle’s only son was soon stripped from her as well.

Michelle had been homeless before; she knew where this road led. She was devastated by the loss of her son but even that wasn’t enough to keep her clean. To this day, Michelle admits she doesn’t know what it was that suddenly pointed her in a different direction. One day she just lost her taste for the life she was leading, and suddenly saw with perfect clarity that if she didn’t do something different, she was going to lose her son permanently. That’s when Department of Child Services referred her to the Changing Lives Center.

One and a half weeks later, she was informed by police that her boyfriend had been found beaten to death on the streets she formerly called home.

“We went everywhere together; that could have been me,” says Michelle.


Through the tireless work of the counselors and staff of the Changing Lives Center, God has saved her life. He’s saved her soul through a saving relationship with Christ she found during her time here. But God didn’t stop there.


“I’m proud to say that every woman who has become certified through this 13-week program and has sought employment has found it,” says Brad Shire, our Food Service Operations Manager and head of our Food Services Training Program. “It’s not entry level positions either. My students have been blessed with positions as general managers, shift managers and team leads in restaurants all over Phoenix.”

Michelle graduated from our new Changing Lives Center Food Services Training Program – a 13-week course designed not only to give our women the chance to become ServSafe® certified as a food manager, but to give in-depth knowledge about the inner workings of the restaurant business. It’s a program designed to teach skills that will serve the women long after they leave the Center. This education is sparking the beginnings of a long-term career.

Because of you, women like Michelle have the opportunity to find a bright new future full of possibilities! From all of us at the Phoenix Rescue Mission, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!