“The first time I came for dinner, I got connected to shelter. Now I have a job, and I’m saving for a car.” Sharon's Story

Sharon was a wife, a mother, and a secretary at a major university. She also experienced homelessness.

Sharon and her husband both had rewarding careers and enjoyed a warm, loving family life complete with two children: a son and a daughter. Everything seemed perfect.

They had been married for 20 years when they decided to divorce. Sharon’s ex-husband gave her a budget and her son managed her money while she cared for her grandson. Family was still her top priority.

The Pain of Loss

Sharon and her ex-husband got along well. She even took care of him when he was diagnosed with throat cancer.

Sharon’s son worked as a firefighter. His best friend was a Hotshot who died in the Yarnel Hill Fire in 2013. Sharon’s son coped by abusing drugs and alcohol to deal with the pain of losing both his dad and his best friend.

“I found out we were out of money,” explained Sharon. “My son and I were jobless, homeless and penniless.”

More than a Meal

Sharon and her son came to Paz de Cristo for dinner, and they heard about iHelp, a program that offers temporary shelter. They both found safe places to sleep at night. “I found that God made a way,” Sharon said.

Sharon had been out of the workforce for 15 years.  She tried to find a job and soon discovered that job searching had changed dramatically. Sharon participated in the Jobs Program at Paz de Cristo. She received personal, one-on-one assistance and practical job coaching.

A new, eight-week training program called Bank Works sparked Sharon’s interest. The program covered topics such as customer service, banking terminology, cash handling procedures and techniques as well as retail products and services.

Sharon applied for the program, completed an initial assessment and participated in an interview. She was accepted into the program and graduated in May, 2019. She gained knowledge and hands-on experience. Sharon began applying and interviewing for new jobs right away.

With her new-found skills and qualifications, Sharon was able to broaden her search to several new opportunities. She soon landed a job as a Customer Service Manager with a well-known nonprofit organization.

Now Sharon is saving to get a place of her own and a used car.

“I appreciate Paz de Cristo—the job search area, and helping me find a safe place [to sleep at night]. Paz is helping so many people,” Sharon added.

No one creates success on their own. There are times when we all need a helping hand. With your support, more people like Sharon can turn their lives around.