The economy is undoubtedly growing stronger as businesses are hiring and jobs are reappearing. For the estimated 27,000 homeless adults and children in Arizona that are living in shelters, cars, unsafe buildings, or on the street (Department of Economic Security’s Homelessness in Arizona Annual Report 2013), or the 1.23 million Arizonans experiencing poverty (U.S. Census Bureau) – a job could help change their lives. But, the challenges and harsh reality of homelessness and poverty keep the growing economy’s jobs out of reach. How would anyone, no matter how determined, search for work without professional clothing, transportation, or a well-crafted resume? How would a mother recovering from domestic abuse, yet determined to give her family a healthier life, begin to achieve financial freedom without the knowledgeable, professional, and attentive support that is required to navigate her delicate situation?

The reasons for homelessness and poverty are as varied as the people who experience it: being an unfortunate victim of the brutal economy (losing a job and savings drying up), returning from military duty and facing a difficult transition, experiencing a turbulent past (convictions or grappling with addictions), or living through the grimness and instability of domestic abuse. No matter the path leading one to homelessness or poverty, a motivated person needs the opportunity to rise above its hardships and break the cycle. SJW is that opportunity by providing the tangible resources and support required to overcome its barriers; leading to a life of self-sufficiency and stability.