Tomascita walked through the doors of Family Promise in 2016 after years of struggling with addiction and unhealthy relationships. Losing her 3 children to the state was a wake-up call that she needed help, and could no longer fight this battle on her own. Through her journey of recovery, Tomascita rediscovered herself, her potential and her fight! She regained custody of her children, and this is where her journey at Family Promise began. She embraced all of the resources and programs offered. Tomascita and her children became a family again. Through our many partnerships with local businesses, Tomascita secured employment.
She shares her thoughts about her time in the emergency shelter program…. “Family Promise gave me the resources I needed to get back into my own place. I was referred to GenRx. I love my job. Moved into my apartment. I have been clean 2 years, 4 months and 17 days….I began a new journey.”
Through a true community collaboration of caring individuals who donated their time and talents to transform this donated 2011 Ford Fusion into a brand spanking like new vehicle…and then handed the keys to Tomascita! FOX 10 Phoenix was on hand to capture this special moment. Thank you to all the partners who made this possible: Service King Collision Repair of Bell Rd, State Farm, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Turning Point Glassworks, O’Reilly Auto Parts. LKQ of Arizona, Cobblestone Auto Spa, AutoNation, Phoenix Dent Repair. YOU have changed a families life forever!
Wow! A Gift that Changes EVERYTHING!
What a blessing to witness an amazing family be the recipient of a life-changing gift! Family Promise Graduates Rohanna, Nelson and their 2 children ages 4 and 1, recently received a vehicle through the Recycled Rides car give-away program!
Through a true community collaboration by Recycled Rides, Body Pros Collision, Dondrell Swanson – State Farm Insurance Agency, AZM Automotive, Gold Star Auto Glass and students at Hamilton High School, a maroon 4-door Toyota Sedan was presented to this deserving family!
This is the 2nd car this year presented to a Graduate Program family! View Pictures
Here is Rohanna’s short story in her own words:
My name is Rohanna and I live with my boyfriend Nelson and our two daughters. We are originally from the Marshall Islands, we came to the U.S for a better life. We moved from Sacramento, CA last year 2016 for Nelson’s job and better opportunity. Work got slowed down and we couldn’t keep up with our bills and ended up being evicted from our apartment in Glendale. That’s how we ended up at Family Promise Programs. We are living in mesa right now and Nelson is working really hard to make sure we don’t end up being homeless again. Family Promise was a real BLESSING for us and we would like to give them a big thank you by volunteering at the shelter. Nelson would like to give free haircuts for men and little boys at the day center. If it wasn’t for the program we would’ve been still on the street. We are well-being and both working. Once again Thank you & God BLESS!
Rohanna and Nelson!
A Community that Cares
By Randy Englund
“I have been working with Steve for the past 4 months and even though I don’t work that much, I enjoy my time. I am currently his only employee and I do everything I can to potentially get more business going for our company. I always come to work and I always do my job no questions asked. He was even telling me that he wants to hire another person so I could train them in case we land another contract. We always share stories with each other and one day I mentioned that I had a hard time seeing signs or words because my eyesight was terrible. He went out of his way to tell me that he has a friend who is an optometrist and he told me that he would try to get me hooked up. I usually think that hooked up means like a discount but he text me 2 hours later to tell me that not only did he get me a free eye exam but also a free prescription pair of glasses. My jaw dropped because I have never really had someone go out of their way to help me like that, Well……besides Family Promise that is. I am so grateful that he did that for me and I am grateful that I am working with him. I honestly would like to keep working with him and bear witness to his company as it expands. I can’t thank him enough for not only the glasses but for being a friend as well because he is not just my boss, he is my Best Friend.”
Family Promise-Greater Phoenix would like to thank Steve Kaiser, Palo Verde Cleaning Solutions and Dr. Julie Lam, OD, Eye Care North for the kindness and generosity they have shown Randy….you have truly changed his life!
Wheels to Independence
Last year Will and Anna and their two preschoolers were coming home from Wal-Mart, and couldn’t believe it when they saw fire trucks surrounding their place. They were horrified to see their home severely damaged by flames that started in their neighbor’s duplex. “Our living room and kitchen were destroyed, but luckily the bedrooms were not so bad, so we saved some clothes, photos, and toys,” Anna told us. Unfortunately, their car was lost.
Will and Anna were instantly homeless. With no relatives in the area, they spent the night at a hospital sleeping in a waiting room. They only had $154 between them, so the next day they called everywhere to find shelter. “I called about 100 numbers, and finally was referred to Family Promise. I was scared to death of going to a shelter because we were worried about sleeping in a big room full of cots with strangers. We were especially worried about our babies…”
Will and Anna liked the Family Promise program. “Family Promise was a blessing. They referred us to a social worker who helped us make a plan. We got help with diapers and formula. We felt safe and had private sleeping quarters. The atmosphere is so friendly and helpful, and the volunteers treated us with respect.”
Without a car, Will, a painter, had some challenges getting to work. Because Phoenix busses don’t start early enough, he decided to ride a bike. At Goodwill he bought a used bicycle. The next day he started out at 2 A.M., riding 26 miles to work. Unfortunately, the bike had a bent rim, which made riding difficult, so Steve, a volunteer at Crosswinds Presbyterian, their host congregation, surprised him with a bike in better condition. Will also helped another Family Promise guest, Bob, get a job with his painting contractor. For several days Will peddled the bike with Bob on the handlebars!
Now Will and Anna are self-sustaining and living independently. With the help of our staff, they saved to achieve their goal to move near Anna’s family in Pennsylvania where apartment rents are lower and they have family support. A donor helped them rent a U Haul truck for the move. They loaded their stuff and got a mattress to sleep in the truck on the four-day trip east because they didn’t have the money for motel rooms.
Families with determination and grit like Will and Anna are what Family Promise is all about. With a little help and guidance, we know that they have a good chance of staying self-sufficient. Thanks to all of you who help us in this important mission.
Story of Promise – Mary’s Journey
Mary had a good job. She had been working for the same company for over 15 years. During that time Mary along with her two children, escaped her abusive husband to start a new life. Making ends meet was tough but workable. And for a lot of years, Mary was proud to be self-sufficient. The number of hours she was working as a roadside assistance customer service rep was increasing… until they weren’t. With the company’s sales down, dispatch calls were down too. That meant Mary’s work shift hours began declining.
Eventually, Mary’s good job became one the barely paid the bills. Then it didn’t pay the bills. Within a few months she got evicted from her apartment. She and her children slept on friends’ couches until they couldn’t any longer. Until their welcome was worn out. That’s when the streets became home.
All along Mary did what she could to provide for her children even if they had no roof over their heads. Her kids weren’t in school. Many days they had hardly anything to eat. Many nights they feared for their lives. But what Mary feared most was that her children would be taken away. That is what haunted her until she got into Family Promise. “I was lucky because there is a waiting list at other social services centers. Initially, they said it would be a few weeks. I didn’t have a few weeks. Then a spot opened up. They gave it to me.”
From that day forward, Mary’s life changed. In just 60 days she was back on her feet knowing how to market her skills, working at a new job and living in a new apartment. Mary had a new life.
Too many families are living Mary’s sad story. And too few are getting the help they need. That’s why Family Promise launched their iPromise3 campaign. It’s to increase capacity so more people can live Mary’s story rather than a tragic story of the streets.
“The referral service sent me to a number of shelters, but I was so shocked at how my family would be broken up. I was frightened to leave my two young sons alone in a place like that, so I started to plan how we could all sleep in my car.” Since there are five of them, she figured two of them would sleep in the trunk. “I keep blankets in the car, so I was all prepared.”
“I was so happy when we found Family Promise.” Judy continues. “We could stay together and there was help with making plans to get back on our feet. And my children really enjoyed the volunteers that welcomed us to the churches, especially the kids. It meant so much to them at a very scary time in their life.”
Today, Judy and her children are successfully living independently. She is working and the children are all in school and doing well.