After years of living on the street, Glendale couple gets first apartment together
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Life out on the street is over for one couple. They’ve escaped the heat and moved into their first apartment together. They say their story proves you can turn your life around with the right help.
Glendale couple Daniel Robinson and Dianna Hofer have been living on the street or in parks for years. They always wanted an apartment together but weren’t sure how to make that happen until the Phoenix Rescue Mission stepped in.
“Being out on the street isn’t easy,” Hofer said. They consider themselves an unlikely couple. “They called us mom and dad out there. Yeah, Mom and Pops,” they said. They’ve been together for eight years and have been homeless throughout their relationship until last month. “I can finally sleep at night,” Hofer said.
“Clients that they think would be really successful at this, clients that have less barriers and don’t need wrap-around services,” said Brian Farretta, a case manager with Phoenix Rescue Mission.
Farretta got them housing in just six hours through an Emergency Housing Voucher. “This is probably the fastest I’ve ever gotten someone housed. From there, we took them to the apartment complex, and they were approved on-site,” Farretta said. It’s something he’s never experienced before. “I think the Lord just opened the doors. That’s all there is to it,” Farretta said.
Phoenix Rescue Mission fully furnished the apartment. “When I had my house before it was hand-me-downs. I didn’t have brand-new furniture. So to be able to pick out brand new furniture, that’s exciting,” they said.
“It is far too hot to go unsheltered in the City of Phoenix right now,” said Rachel Milne, Director of the Office of Homeless Solutions for the City of Phoenix. Milne has been documenting “The Zone” cleanup efforts. Initially, some were worried the court-ordered cleanup of the large encampment downtown would only push homeless people to other areas.
Milne says that isn’t happening, and nearly all want shelter. “In total, we’ve engaged with 148 individuals. 121 of them have accepted shelter services and on those specific days moved into indoor shelter locations.”
“Knowing that that door is locked and no one else can come in unless we let them in, is a big relief,” Hofer said.
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