Family living out of van for months moves into new Phoenix home thanks to St. Vincent de Paul

Homelessness is a continued problem many people are facing across Arizona. St. Vincent de Paul, an organization devoted to helping Arizona families in need, is doing their part to help those on the streets find quality homes. 

A new program and app called "Angels on Call" helps connect donors to families in need. One such family had their life changed forever when they moved into new housing on August 10, 2023.

Karen and David Engle want a better life for their six kids. "They don't ever have to sleep in the van or in a backyard or in a tent or any of that," said Karen Engle, one recipient of the new home. 

"We've been trying to stay above water because I got laid off. I lost my work, medical conditions came up and just being homeless and not being able to take care of our kids," David Engle stated. 

The family has been living out of a van for several months, and now, they have a home. "I'm very excited, overwhelmed, I'm blessed and grateful, very grateful it's been a long time," Mrs. Engle said. 

Thanks to St.Vincent de Paul and these "Angels on Call" the family has been moved into an apartment.  

"We have a program at St. Vincent de Paul called "Bring the Hope Home," where we take items people have donated and families recently ending their homelessness," said Irma Leyendecker, Director of Mission Advancement with SVDP.  This program includes help to cover some rent, as well as utilities, depending on the exact needs of the family. 

Jasmine Smalls, the donor program manager, explained how the funds can be utilized.

"We will determine how much to cover, maybe we'll cover half or maybe they need utility assistance instead."

The Engles aren't getting an empty apartment. It's being fully furnished with donated furniture from thrift stores. 

"They're furnishing our place, they're giving everything that my kids need- a bed, a place to be at. I'm very grateful." said Karen Engle. 

While they still have some hurdles ahead, the Engles say they are so blessed to be entering this new chapter, this new life. 

St. Vincent de Paul hopes to help many more families. They are reliant on donors who can match with families through their programs. 

For more information about how to become a donor, you can download their new "Angels of Call" app, which allows you to sign up.