Today was a special day for an IMPACT Phoenix client. After living a pretty normal life, Rose (not real name) fell into an addiction resulting in incarceration, damaged relationships, financial ruin, and homelessness. Fortunately, she sought help at ‘the bottom’ from a great community organization called Lifewell Behavioral Wellness and successfully completed a 3 month rehab program for her addiction. She then transitioned to the House of Promise, a great Christian transitional living program that serves men, single women, and single women with children. That’s where I met Rose. During her struggling times, Rose amassed two thousand dollars of court fines, which was keeping her from getting a driver’s license, which was preventing her from having a car, which was preventing her from seeking gainful employment that would earn her far above the minimum wage she’s earning now. With the help of Susan Daicoff of AZ Summit Law School and Shira Zias, Homeless Court Advocate for the City of Phoenix, the judge today allowed the classes on recovery she took at Lifewell, the time she spent mentoring other women at Lifewell as part of her program, and the ongoing 12 step program and Bible studies she’s now taking while at House of Promise, to count as community service hours. Then he applied the value of the community service hours against the outstanding fines, which were more than sufficient to reduce the outstanding fines to zero! Rose is now eligible to obtain a driver’s license which will open up so many more employment opportunities.
Rose has been working hard on changing her life-a key tenant of working with IMPACT Phoenix. That encourages us to walk alongside her to achieve goals such as this, using a coordinated (AZ Summit and Homeless Court) and collaborative (City of Phoenix and House of Promise) approach. Rose experienced first hand what makes IMPACT Phoenix different: a person-centered approach with people she can TRUST, people who truly CARE and people who can HELP her transform her life.