Dwain’s Story

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You gave Dwain a home when he needed it most

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Dwain’s world was upended when his mother passed away unexpectedly. As the only family member in the Phoenix area, he took full responsibility for her funeral arrangements. Isolated and facing his grief alone, Dwain struggled to cope with his emotions. 


After a few difficult months, Dwain found himself on the verge of homelessness. Having been extremely close to his mother, he relied on her for much of his support network in Phoenix. Now he had no one to turn to for help or to talk to. 


“It was hard, everyone deals with grief in different ways and I just… Well I didn’t deal with it in the best of ways. So I ended up here, but thank God that I did.”

After his mother died, Dwain struggled with depression. Feeling entirely alone, he stopped taking care of himself and became homeless.

Dwain ended up at A New Leaf’s East Valley Men’s Center, where he found a community of men willing to help him piece his life back together. Dedicated staff members worked with Dwain to help him find work, plan for long-term housing, and most importantly, deal with his grief.


“The people here are real-real. They don’t sugar coat things, but they do care about you a lot. I think that’s been the biggest thing for me, is just how much the staff care. I mean they don’t pass no judgment on anybody, no matter where they came from or what they’re dealing with.”

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Since arriving at A New Leaf’s East Valley Men’s Center, Dwain has found 3 jobs that he plans to work at for the next 2 months while he saves for a new apartment, and hopefully his own business. He spends most of his time at work and planning for his future.


“I’ve been in a tough spot lately, and I really don’t want to rely on my employer to succeed. So I’m saving up to start my own business. I’ve been doing security for a while now and I think that could be somewhere that I could really succeed in going off on my own. But until I can do that, I’m working three jobs and keeping my head down to get back on my feet.”

Thanks to supporters of A New Leaf, Dwain found a home at the East Valley Men’s Center, and is getting back on his feet.

Dwain is actively working with the Workforce Office onsite and his Case Manager to make these dreams a reality. He is also working to build a new support network, so that if he ever faces hard times again, he can reach out for help. 


“No one expects to be knocked down like this. Until I found myself sleeping in a homeless shelter, I never thought that’d be me. But here we are. My lesson from this is that no one is exempt from homelessness, it can happen to anyone. The good part though, anyone can overcome it too, and that’s what I plan to do.”

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