To her little girl, she's mommy. To a judgmental world, she's a homeless drug-addicted teen. To us, she's worth it.
My name is Brian D. Steele, and for the last 15 years my wife and I’ve been committed to fighting for homeless young women like Shelly and her little girl. During this time we’ve seen over 4,580 young mothers rebuild their lives, get their kids back and find the one thing they desperately needed – a Dream for their life.
When Shelly was a little girl she wanted to be a singer. She was constantly singing on her little karaoke machine. Singing was her dream. But sadly her life was a nightmare and her dream nearly died.
She would watch from the bathtub as her mother would smoke crack or shoot heroin. Her mother had a string of boyfriends, including Shelly’s father, who would regularly abuse her. When her mother was sent to prison Shelly went to live with her grandmother.
At the age of 14 she began using crystal meth.
“I was trying to fill a void. I thought that was the life that was meant for me.”
When she was 18, Shelly became pregnant herself. She vowed she would try to remain sober during the pregnancy. But it was difficult.
“I never thought of looking to God for help. I didn’t like God. I thought He turned his back on me and that He was this mean God. He wasn’t there.”
Three months after her daughter was born Shelly was back using drugs. And now it got even worse. She wasn’t just using, she was selling.
Shelly was eventually arrested and her daughter went into foster care. After being arrested, she started doing something she swore she’d never do. Like her mother, she started shooting heroin.
Shelly hit rock bottom. But then something extraordinary happened.
“I was hopeless. I cried out to God. That’s when I found the Phoenix Dream Center and I entered into the Life Recovery Program. I was determined that my story would not end this way.”
“I told a family member that she better take me before I changed my mind. She took me to the doors of the Dream Center. Once I stepped through those doors I knew this was where I was supposed to be. It’s where God wanted me to be.”
Over the next year in the Life Recovery Program her life turned around. She gave her life to Jesus and began building healthy, godly relationships. Real friendships that would last. Shelly was getting a fresh start.
This was the new beginning she needed and not a moment too soon.
“The more open I got to receiving love I was able to love others and give them hope too.”
Shelly has learned she has real self-worth and a bright future ahead of her. She went back to school, graduated with honors, is happily married, and is working full time (with great pay) in an addiction recovery center here in Phoenix.
I get so encouraged thinking that Shelly went on to help countless others who were in her same situation. She told me that she feels God called her to do this work.
“I tell them my story and share the truth about how Jesus changed my life. The Phoenix Dream Center changed my life. These people changed my life.”
Please take a moment to think about Shelly and the countless number of others out there just like her that need your help.
When you give a gift of support to the Phoenix Dream Center you’re reaching out, taking them by the hand and pulling them out of the dark pit that has them trapped.
All their lives they’ve been told they’re nothing, worthless. But your support tells them you care. Your support tells them God made them to be somebody and they can get off the streets and find help.
Your gift of $25, $50 or even $100 makes an enormous difference in people’s lives.
Please give as much as you can and please know that ALL of it makes ALL the difference in someone’s life.
Brian D. Steele
Executive Director, Phoenix Dream Center
Your donation today will help young mothers who are homeless as they rebuild their lives.
LS1 – Leadership Program Sponsorship Support
100% of your donation goes directly to building a room to support young women who are struggling with homelessness. Our administrative overhead costs are all covered by business revenue and a private grant.
And, here’s some more good news – your donation is eligible for the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit and you can get $800 in state tax credits for couples filing jointly and singles can get up to $400 in AZ Charitable Tax Credits.