December 11, 2020

It’s officially the giving season, that special time of year when we show our love for others – whether it’s gifting a smile to a stranger or a prettily wrapped present to a family member. Each gift we give releases a little more light into the world, helping the holidays shine bright for us all.

I’m asking you to share this light with the families at UMOM New Day Centers by making a special holiday donation to support our life-changing work.

The need is greater than ever before due to the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and there are currently more than 100 families on the waitlist. Families like Pleasant and her children, who you’ll read about, are examples of those affected.

Our first priority for these families is to provide shelter and hot meals. We then help our families rebuild their lives with one-on-one case management and supportive services like job training, education, healthcare, and so much more, ultimately ending their homelessness.

But we can’t do it without your help. This giving season, please share what you can – whether it’s sending items from our urgent needs wishlist or making a monetary donation to support our programs. Tax-deductible gifts of any amount make a big difference.

Thank you for sharing your light and helping the holidays shine bright for others.

With gratitude,

Jackson Fonder
UMOM Chief Executive Officer

For families experiencing homelessness, it’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But you can light up the holidays for our families in need with kindness and generosity. Share your light!

Meet Pleasant.


COVID-19’s long-term side effects aren’t limited to health concerns. Pleasant understands that better than anyone. The pandemic transformed Pleasant from an independent woman who had bravely walked away from a toxic relationship to raise her babies on her own – to an unemployed, homeless, single mother desperate to keep her children safe.

Pleasant lived in a house, comfortable knowing she could afford the payments on her own. She had a job in customer service at Walmart, and her kids were enrolled in a great daycare. After overcoming tragedy early in her life, losing her own mom at the tender age of 15, Pleasant could see the light at the end of the tunnel and knew her life was on the right track.

But that was before. The COVID-19 pandemic shredded the safety Pleasant worked so hard to build. Her children’s daycare closed, and she had no one to watch the kids. She lost her job and then her home.

Pleasant packed what she could of their belongings into a car. They stayed in a motel for a while, but the money ran out. She reached out to her children’s father for help, but he wasn’t interested. While it affirmed her earlier decision to leave, it also left her with no other options.

To many, it may seem COVID-19 took away everything from Pleasant without ever making her sick. But it couldn’t take away her strength, love, and determination.pleasant 2

Pleasant heard about UMOM New Day Centers and got on the waiting list. Five short weeks later, she moved her beautiful family of six into our family emergency shelter.

Today, Pleasant has a new job after attending a UMOM virtual job fair. And she’s working with a case manager to find a new home, an affordable three-bedroom place. Her oldest daughter will graduate high school this spring with honors and an Associate’s degree from Phoenix College. Thanks to Pleasant’s unrelenting support and strength, her daughter will continue college to pursue a career in dentistry.

Pleasant’s own dreams are budding again, too. She plans to get her GED, go to college, and eventually become a Registered Nurse.

She’s overcoming the impacts of COVID-19 thanks to your support, and her holidays are indeed shining brightly.