Changing Lives Center offers single moms a 2nd chance

Changing Lives Center offers single moms a 2nd chance

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PHOENIX -

They are former drug addicts and prostitutes. Women -- mothers with young children -- who have fallen into a dark underworld.

But some of them are now ready to emerge back to as much of a normal life as they can piece together. And they are doing it with the help of one valley organization.

"Want to show them how you ride a big boy bike now?"

The training wheels are off, and 5-year-old Daniel shows his mom how he can ride a two wheeler. Former drug addict Diane Case does not take play time for granted.

"I got him back two months ago," she says.

Daniel was in CPS custody for a year and a half because of her addiction to pain medication -- an addiction she battled for 10 years.

"I married when I was 30 years old and I didn't do drugs and I started doing drugs when I met my husband."

Even giving birth did not change her ways.

"I couldn't fight that drug, it was so powerful to me, you know."

She and her husband served time in jail. Her son was taken away, while Daniel's dad is still in jail

Daniel was reunited with his mom at the Changing Lives Center in downtown Phoenix where Case works and Daniel attends preschool. They call this place home.

"God led me right here to Changing Lives Center," says Case.

"We offer a program that allows them to go back to basics and then rebuild as a single parent and rebuild a hopeful life for them and their children," says Barb Sloan of Changing Lives.

Barb Sloan works with mothers who have drug and alcohol addictions. Some were prostitutes.

"About 99 percent of them have been sexually abused, physically, emotionally battered, it's sad."

Families attend chapel. Moms take GED or college courses and learn life skills without being separated from their children.

It's the only facility in Arizona that enables moms and their kids to live in one of these cottages for up to 18 months.

"We show them they may be a broken vessel, but they can be made whole again."

Case sometimes pictures her life without this place.

"I might not even have Daniel back, I could have gone back to drugs, I think about that all the time. I'd be struggling. I needed this place to mend myself to heal to work on my family and when I leave here I am going to have the strength to do that," says Case.

Changing Lives Center needs volunteers and donations to develop their day room for moms and kids. The facility is also able to accept more women and children.

Online: phoenixrescuemission.org 

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