Stories of Transformation: Yvonne

When Yvonne relapsed after 14 years of sobriety, her life spiraled out of control. She wound up homeless, abused and estranged from her family…

Yvonne was a troubled teenager, but she had worked hard to change her life and build a career. Through talent and determination, she established a rewarding career at a clinical laboratory in Surprise — and for a time, she enjoyed the fruits of her success. “I had a home, savings, cars, never had to worry about food or clothes for my daughters,” she remembers. “I was living the dream.”

Despite all that, something was wrong. “I was very unhappy,” Yvonne admits. Her relationship with her partner of 17 years was incredibly broken. “He didn’t work, I had to pay for everything and he cheated on me constantly.” Maybe that’s why, one day when she smelled someone cooking meth at work, she was so terribly tempted…

Addiction Never Lets Go

It’s hard for those who’ve never experienced addiction to understand the power drugs can hold over people, even after they’ve had long periods of sobriety. Yvonne had been clean for nearly 14 years, but the smell of meth still grabbed her.

In a moment of weakness, she chose to forget all of the consequences she had suffered in her past, and only thought about forgetting her current unhappiness. So she used again… and her life fell apart.

Over the course of the next year, she left her partner and lost her job, her possessions and everything else. “My savings ran out, my daughters went to live with other family members, and I eventually wound up homeless.”

For a time, couch surfing and a series of boyfriends kept her indoors. But the boyfriends were also addicts, and they were progressively more abusive. “I was slapped, had teeth punched out, was thrown off balconies, threatened with guns and knives.” As one relationship after another ended, Yvonne eventually had nowhere left to go but the streets. Out there, she endured heat, cold, routine fights and yet more drug-fueled violence.

During all of this hardship, Yvonne became pregnant and made the difficult but beautiful choice to place her son for adoption. It broke her heart, but she knew she could not raise a child in those circumstances.

Yvonne’s work responsibility at the Mission is in our kitchen. She loves serving her fellow women on their recovery journey.

Hope Coach to a New Life

After a year of living in Bonsall Park at 59th Avenue and Bethany Home Road, Yvonne was arrested — and something finally clicked. “I told the officer, ‘Thank you for taking me to jail,’ because I was over this life.” Determined to change, she began looking for rehab and connected with one of our Criminal Justice Diversion program case managers. One month later, one of Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Hope Coaches picked her up from jail and brought her to our Changing Lives Center for Women & Children.

“At first I was just grateful for the food,” she says. In time, she embraced the spiritual aspects of recovery, and God changed Yvonne. She healed, grew in faith and rebuilt relationships with her daughters.

Today, Yvonne’s new, Christ-centered joy has changed her outlook on life. She assists in our kitchen, serving our staff and clients. “I love the work,” Yvonne says. “I also look forward to the Bible studies with the ladies. We talk, we pray. I’ve never had this fellowship before.”

This Easter, Yvonne is deeply thankful to God for rescuing her, and for friends like you who made her recovery possible. “I never knew this support was available. The help the donors provide is just amazing.”

Yvonne has embraced the faith component of recovery and is daily growing in Christ.

“I was in prison and you came to me.” – Matthew 25:36b

Because of clear instruction from Scripture, Phoenix Rescue Mission established our Criminal Justice Diversion program to serve people with legal troubles. Our goal is to help them understand the underlying causes of their struggles and connect them to realistic, life-changing solutions. Learn more at