About Us

Soul Sanctuary in the Desert is a unique volunteer driven non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization. Dedicated to actively working with at-risk families to break the generational cycle of substance abuse and domestic violence through its support of women and children. Some transitional housing programs are established as for-profit businesses, grouping three to four adults in each bedroom to maximize income. Women with small children are often unable to find space and support within this type of transitional living program. With this knowledge in hand, in 2004 Soul Sanctuary opened its first non-profit housing program for women, allowing mothers and children to have their own bedroom and personal space.

Women participating in the program are required to address their personal issues of addiction and co-dependence, and to demonstrate continued progress and development during their enrollment. Programs range from six months to two years and are focused on helping the women meet specific goals such as getting a job, attending a trade school or completing an associates degree.

Participants report on their success and personal challenges during weekly meetings where they discuss solutions and learn problem-solving skills. This approach is unique because it empowers women who previously exhibited codependent behaviors and unhealthy decision-making skills to make positive life choices for themselves and their children.

The program has been successful in changing lives because women are required to develop and follow their own personal program, which they have created with the help and supervision of facilitators. This approach empowers and guides the individual as they choose the services they need. Participants are required to participate in physical, psychological and spiritual programs, as well as activities that enhance positive interaction with their children. This begins their family healing process, allowing the women to break the cycle of abuse and codependence that they risk teaching to their young children.

In 2010 Soul Sanctuary forged a partnership with Arizona State University’s Department of Social Work to provide support in facilitation and documentation. This partnership has provided much needed professional oversight as well as the collection of outcomes data indicating that this model of safety, self-management, and support maintains a high percentage of success rates. In addition, in 2011 the Nutrition Department at ASU provided the opportunity for their Community Nutrition students to partake in volunteer hours at Soul Sanctuary in educating the women on nutrition. This long-term commitment and focus on personal development provides a robust platform for healing and growth. For the children of these mothers, this is critical – their chances of breaking the cycle of addiction and violence grows exponentially with a fully functioning adult in their lives.

New Soul Sanctuary Programs

Shelter services were the focus for creating and sustaining Soul Sanctuary, but we’ve realized that the trauma of at-risk living extends well beyond the women and children we support. With many families now impacted by PTSD through combat and trauma while in military service, we are now extending our scope to support these veterans through the following programs:

PTSD Study Treatment Plan:   The social and economic costs of PTSD are immense. First year treatment alone costs the government $9,100 per person, or more than $2 billion so far. Suicides among active-duty military personnel averaged 22 per day. Veterans now account for 20 percent of all suicides in the U.S., with the youngest veterans, those 24 and under taking their lives at four times the rate of other veteran age groups.

The treatment plan for Veterans is offered through Soul Sanctuary in the Desert for $4800.  You can support a Veteran here.  If you are a Veteran in need of care and do not have the resources, please contact Soul Sanctuary at 602-566-7627.  If this is an emergency situation, call the crisis line or 911.

Continued Care: The current training for social service therapists to treat trauma and PTSD Study is not enough. Continued care for at-risk veterans and family members is crucial. Only a portion of care is covered for the Veterans, not to mention their families. Mothers who graduate from Soul Sanctuary need these resources as well as they learn to support their families. Our commitment is to create and coordinate with existing services to ensure that on-going support keeps our families strong and healthy.