How I Overcame Homelessness

By Denise Miles
Published: Monday, May 8, 2017 - 5:00am

About the Author
In addition to serving as a board member for Circle the City, Denise Miles is a former patient at the respite center. She is a mother, an aunt, a grandmother and an artist. Denise has also worked at the Arizona Department of Economic Security and Sojourner.


From: Denise Miles - 4-27-2017

How I Overcame Homelessness

This is my story…

I have 5 children and 5 grandchildren 3 more on the way.

I always held down employment. D.E.S. nine years to helping mother and their children in domestic violence, and caregiving for the elderly.

I went through some time of change in my life. It happened so quickly I felt stuck. I lost my job. Then my apartment. My two youngest daughters did not know how to get through this stage. I have always taken care of them. I had convinced myself that I was a terrible mother and grandmother.

I tried to hang on until I convinced myself I had no hope. I made a lot of wrong decisions trying to fit in. Not everyone is able to fit in. I still had a heart-mind-integrity. I was scared a lot. I remember saying, “God, please save me from myself.”

I had a suitcase on wheels I took with me everywhere. I was trying to get into a center for rehab, and this is what changed my life.

I was at a women’s center; they offered me a 28 day program. I found out I had breast cancer. I went through the radiation on the streets. The more I became aware that I am a woman of worth.

The night track program arranged an interview for Circle the City Respite Center. I was in the respite center the very next morning.

My whole heart and life just kept changing me around. I stayed at the respite center for 5 months of chemo. I was in such a positive place, the healing process was so quick you would never had known I was going through chemo.

Circle the City also supported me with dentures, as well as a voucher for shelter for me. I became one of the first patients to be on the Board of Directors. I became an artist while I was there, everyone treats me like an angel.

Two years and eight months later, I am still involved with the AA program, advocate for Circle the City. I will tell you the word HOPE is what I have. I thank you all who is involved with the project in front of me.

Thank you for everything. My life, my family is all set on a spiritual plane of inspiration.

God Bless.