Stories of Transformation: Stan


The recipe for a dream sounds simple enough: hard work and determination sprinkled with hope. Stan Robinson has shown the willpower and true grit it takes to pursue that dream. He had moved to Phoenix from Orlando, hoping to put his 22 years of experience in film and television production to good use. The fledgling Arizona film market seemed ripe for the picking. But at age 60, Stan discovered finding consistent work was a challenge.

Staying at the Mission until he got back on his feet seemed a logical plan. While at the Mission, Stan had an epiphany of sorts – rather than work in the entertainment industry he loves, why not write about it.

The movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” was an inspiration to Stan. In the movie, Chris Gardner loses his wife, house and financial stability after investing his money in a faulty invention. Determined to be successful, Gardner was selected for a 6-month internship program required to become a stockbroker. With few resources, Gardner and his young son are forced to live on the streets and in homeless shelters until his internship becomes a paying job.

In the typical scenario of life imitating art, Stan could relate to Gardner’s drive to change his life. Yet, Stan had no idea the road to pursuing his own personal happiness as a local film critic would be so rocky.

In October of 2007, Stan was brutally attacked outside of Burton Barr Central Library by two men who wanted his laptop computer. His injuries were severe. He was hospitalized for weeks and was still undergoing rehabilitation a year later. He thought a lot about Chris Gardner’s plight while staying at the Mission and knew he had to keep writing, networking and submitting his articles to publishers.

As he healed both physically and spiritually, Stan was determined to get his reviews published. He found a copy of the AZ Weekly Entertainment Magazine at the bus stop right by the Mission and submitted his work.

CEO and Publisher, Brian Muir of this publication, took a chance and asked Stan to join the staff, writing for the film section. Each week, Stan’s reviews are read by thousands who pick up the free weekly on street corners or inside businesses. Stan then joined the Phoenix Film Critics Society and currently sits on their Board as the Director-At-Large.

Starting this month, Stan’s reviews and articles will appear in the Resident News Newsletter. The newsletter is delivered monthly to 1.2 million country clubs and apartment complexes nationally within more than 50 publications.

Stan’s reviews can also be found online on Phoenix. Through his hard work and perseverance, Stan has taught our shelter guests and staff alike that happiness is not gifted to some and taken from others, it is something to be pursued.