After becoming homeless at 11, a Glendale woman shares how the Phoenix Rescue Mission helped her land on her feet.
Sylvia Stocking contacted the non-profit faith-based group, which provides essential help to “vulnerable residents of the Valley”, about four years ago, she recalls. The mother-of-three contacted PRM’s Glendale Works program, a partnership with the City of Glendale that ‘paves the way to employment’ for homeless citizens through paid five-hour shifts doing construction projects. landscaping and beautification.
Stocking said the opportunity not only transformed her life by giving her a source of income, but also an apartment in Glendale and a way to build her future.
“If people are putting in the time and the work and using those resources, there’s no longer any reason for people to be homeless,” Stocking said.
Stocking has since landed a job at an airport. She also submitted a Articles of Organization form, a document required by the state to establish the formation of an LLC in the state of Arizona, and paid a fee to obtain her business license for the development. landscaping, she shared.
And she credits all of her newfound success to the Phoenix Rescue Mission, and its programs and partnerships.
“Just being able to close the door behind me at the end of the day, and with all the nonsense outside, I could just close the blinds – that brings peace of mind,” Stocking said. “Even when I was there, honestly, I have an umbrella, and no one is going to rain on my parade.”
PRM provides “Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to people facing hunger, homelessness, substance abuse and trauma”. The nonprofit said there were more than 7,000 homeless men, women and children in Maricopa County.
Programs include Hope for Hunger Food Bank, Changing Lives Center for Women and Children, Mission Sharing and Hope Coach Mobile Outreach.
“They (PRM) aren’t trying to force you to do anything,” Stocking explained. “I tried a (previous) program and it didn’t work for me. Then I started going to church with them (PRM) and to AA meetings with them, and they showed me how to be sober. Places like rehab, they don’t go out of their way like that.
Among these programs is Glendale Works.
Glendale Works strives to help participants overcome “insurmountable problems that control their lives by providing them with the opportunity to earn real wages and connect to services.”
Through five-hour shifts, individuals are paid cash to carry out beautification projects and perform landscaping tasks in “rundown areas of Glendale”. The work also makes neighborhoods look cleaner and safer.
Stocking pointed out that Glendale Works offers “a helping hand, not a handout”. She claimed to have gained a sense of dignity and self-esteem throughout her experience.
“It shows me how to be a better person,” Stocking shared. “Everyone has the same chance, but not everyone has the same obstacles. I don’t have a family so my support group was the center of support and he definitely filled the job. It’s very appreciated. »
Stocking’s courage and perseverance stem from a difficult childhood, she revealed.
Her mother abandoned her in a park when she was 11, she added.
“I kind of had a big setback from the jump. A group of homeless people are done raising me,” Stocking said. “When the Rescue Mission started doing Glendale Works, it showed me that it was possible to get sober and live a normal life. They kind of took me under their wing and showed me how to live life as a sober, productive member of society would.
“Because all the people in the park wouldn’t show me how to file your taxes or drive — I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them or the Justice Center,” she continued.
Stocking is living comfortably in her new apartment in Glendale and is looking forward to continued development and growth, she shared.
Stocking has several job opportunities on the horizon, including a guard position at Arizona State. However, she said she now wants to turn her attention to returning to school.
“I think I’ll go back to school because I got my business license last year for landscaping,” Stocking explained. “I don’t know if I want to do landscaping. I want to build playgrounds.
Although her obstacles haven’t entirely disappeared through her work with PRM, Stocking said she looks forward to staying positive and being a good role model for her children.
“Yeah, I get discouraged and, yeah, I feel hurt because I’m sensitive and I’ve looked stupid a couple of times,” Stocking explained, noting that his face tattoos have sometimes caused issues. during job interviews. “But, you can’t rush greatness.”
To learn more about the Phoenix Rescue Mission, visit