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A new start: Valley nonprofits help move family from shelter to their own home

Tempe mom gets home.png
Posted at 3:59 PM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 20:48:52-05

TEMPE, AZ — Christal Banks has been through a lot.

A victim of domestic violence, she said she hoped to build a better life for her six children in the Valley. However, over the summer, she lost her job and her home and found herself and her family living in a shelter.

"I never knew that I could actually get help," she said. "I didn't get judged about my situation, I didn't get judged about how many people I had. It's a blessing."

With the help of local nonprofits, she and her family are now in a home of their own.

Through the help of Save the Family, a Valley nonprofit, Banks and her family were placed in a townhome in Tempe and Furnishing Dignity, an organization that collects used furniture, helped to furnish the home. They also purchased mattresses
and pillows.

"We work with about 16 nonprofits that work with the homeless or the shelter," said CEO Joyce Petrowski. She said they've helped furnish some 800 homes in six years.

"They can come home to a home instead of an empty place," she said.

For Banks, it's about making sure her children are safe and taken care of.

"Every time I cried they told me to stay strong. They were my motivation were going to make it through this, but I didn't really think that I'd ever get blessed like I got blessed," she said.

She hopes others struggling with domestic violence or homelessness seek help. She said the home for her family is a new chapter and allows her to focus on going back to school and getting a job to better support her kids.

"I'm so humbled, I'm so grateful and thankful. Me and my children are able to eat at a table now. We don't have to sit on the floor, sleep on an air mattress anymore. I'm just so thankful," she said.

Furnishing Dignity is always accepting furniture or financial donations. How you can help.