Emily’s Story: A New Start at Faith House

August 31, 2016

Wrapping her 9-month-old son in a blanket stained with her blood, Emily tried to calm her baby’s crying and her own beating heart. The baby had been awakened during the night by her husband’s shouting as he beat Emily. She panicked when his rage turned from her to the baby and Emily desperately scrambled to the crib before he could get there. She felt a searing pain and realized her husband had stabbed her hand with the pocket knife he had been threatening her with. The blood and Emily’s scream startled both of them and her husband thankfully backed away.

But Emily knew it would happen again. He would forget his promises to stop drinking and to never hurt her again. What if she hadn’t gotten to the crib first? Would he have stabbed the baby instead of her? The abuse and violence had been getting worse and Emily knew she had to get out before he killed one of them.

With help from a friend, Emily found A New Leaf’s Faith House. She and her baby escaped her nightmare and met the caring staff at Faith House who helped her rebuild her life. They helped Emily heal from the trauma of abuse, find a job, learn how to manage her finances, and secure an apartment. Emily was proud to enroll in a Child Development Teacher certificate program to work towards a meaningful and self-sustaining career.

On any given day, approximately 1,180 domestic violence victims are living in Arizona shelters. Another 140 are being housed in motels waiting for shelter space. A New Leaf’s Faith House in Glendale has been providing a safe haven and support for women and children for 45 years. Faith House is one of five shelter programs operated by A New Leaf in the Phoenix Metropolitan area. The 45-year-old nonprofit organization’s mission of “Helping Families…Changing Lives” creates positive change for more than 21,000 individuals each year.

In response to a recent $500,000 loss of funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – nearly half of the Faith House’s annual operating budget, A New Leaf is transitioning Faith House’s services to an innovative new program model providing emergency housing for “women and children in crisis.” This model ensures Faith House will continue to provide immediate safe housing and support services for domestic violence victims as well as victims of other crimes, and those who are homeless.


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