PHOENIX (CBS 5) - Julie Sanchez has devoted her life to helping struggling moms have a place to live and take care of their kids.
"Nighty-nine percent of my clients have degrees, have bachelors and Master's degrees," said Sanchez. "They had that great job at one time, but then all of a sudden the roof just fell in."
Sanchez is a support specialist at Parsons Village in Phoenix, a low-income community devoted to helping families that have been homeless. Whether it's helping a mom find a job, get them cleaned up for an interview, or providing comfort and advice, Sanchez does it all.
"It's a struggle every day trying to help people understand their worth and when they finally understand, I am worth something that makes your entire year," said Sanchez.
Keri Rollyson is a single mom with five kids, who was homeless for seven months. She's so thankful for what Sanchez has done for her that Rollyson reached out to CBS 5 to Pay It Forward to the case manager, whose kindness is contagious.
"She ultimately left her other job making about $30,000 more than she does now because she said she wanted to help people," said Rollyson.
A CBS 5 News crew caught up with Rollyson when she showed up to surprise Sanchez and give her $500.
"I know sometimes you come to work, and it's not easy for you and you have other things going on in your life," said Rollyson. "I just wanted to let you know that you are super appreciated and you do a super job and we love you. On behalf of Channel 5 and all of us here, I'd like to Pay It Forward to you. Here's $500 for you to spend on whatever you want. Merry Christmas."
"She makes a difference in everyone's life," added Rollyson. "Coming to work every day helps us survive every day, so she's just a great lady."