“I lived on the streets for two years, now I’m sober and want to be a nurse. Taco Tuesday started it all.” Teri's Story

Teri was a junior in high school when her family moved to a new town in Oklahoma. She had no friends, she knew no one. Teri began hanging out with the druggies because they were nicer and more accepting.

“Then I started doing drugs too,” Teri said. She used illegal drugs on and off for more than 13 years.

Through it all, Teri earned her Associates Degree in Applied Science. She had just been accepted into a nursing program in Oklahoma when Teri’s new boyfriend Aaron asked her to move away with him. She left behind her son and her family.

Teri and Aaron moved to Arizona where they were homeless for two years. They lived on the streets using drugs regularly to escape the rough realities of life. “We did nothing productive,” Teri said.

On a hot afternoon in July, 2019, Teri and Aaron came to Paz de Cristo for dinner.

It was Taco Tuesday. Community Court was held that day with Judge Tafoya. “Aaron had ten warrants for his arrest,” Teri explained. “He got into community court, but he kept messing up.” Aaron was ultimately sentenced to serve 30 days in jail.

“I was just tired, really tired of the way things were,” Terri shared. “When he got out of jail, I told Aaron ‘Let’s do something different this time.’”

On Thanksgiving Day, Teri and Aaron secured safe, affordable shelter at a sober living home called Brand New Life. “I’ve been clean for more than three months,” Teri said. “Taco Tuesday did it. Taco Tuesday started it all.”

Teri started community court in January and graduated in February, 2019. She faced two shoplifting charges and one possession. To be eligible for community court, Teri and Aaron

  1. – Secured a place to live
  2. – Found jobs
  3. – Stopped using illegal drugs
  4. – Intentionally committed acts of kindness including helping people at Brand New Life by giving them rides, clothing and tips to getting started living drug-free.

As part of community court, Teri and Aaron received the services they so desperately needed to overcome their addictions. Community Court connects participants to Marc Community Resources and Community Bridges, Inc for a wide range of much-needed services including

  1. – Behavioral Health
  2. – Substance Abuse
  3. – Domestic Violence
  4. – Employment
  5. – Sober Living Houses
  6. – Rehabilitation for drug and alcohol addiction

Teri and Aaron graduated from Brand New Life’s sober living intake house; now Teri and Aaron live in a three-quarter house. “We want to keep making good choices,” Teri shared

Navigators at Marc Community Resources helped Teri get a job at 24/7 Call Center. She earned funds to pay rent each week at Brand New Life sober living and buy a car. “I had been walking everywhere I went for two years,” she said.

Teri looks forward to progressing, being productive and going forward. She drives for Lyft, along with delivery for Door Dash and Postmates.

Teri wants to be a nurse, so she is looking into nursing programs in Arizona.

With help from Paz de Cristo, Marc Navigators and Community Court, Teri has turned her life around.

We give people a hand so they can get back on their feet. At Paz de Cristo, compassion starts with a hot, nutritious meal. Clean clothes, a hot shower and a haircut give guests a fresh start. We also help people find jobs and remove barriers to that they can get ahead.

We Feed, Clothe and Empower.


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