Every year the Chaplaincy interacts with thousands of people at the airport. They often come seeking assistance. These are some recent success stories:
A Handicapped Senior Citizen
P., flying from California to her son’s home in Chicago, became stranded at Sky Harbor when her connecting flight was cancelled. The son called Sky Harbor Travelers Aid in a panic, concerned for his mother’s well-being. Case Manager Nancy checked with the airline and found that P. was sitting in a wheelchair at a gate in Terminal 2 without any assistance. In the meantime, a bag containing P’s medications had been misplaced. Nancy contacted the skycap office and arranged for P. to be brought to the airline ticket counter for re-booking. Eventually the medication bag was found and brought to her. P. was booked on a flight out of Terminal -4. Nancy and a skycap accompanied P. to Terminal 4 and arrange P’s boarding pass. Nancy then phoned the son to let him know that his mother was now safely on her way. He was greatly relieved and thanked all involved for their help.
From Traveler to Employee
A young man, C., traveled from Payson, AZ to Sky Harbor in search of a job. Information staff referred him to Nancy when he showed signs of being stressed. Nancy listened to his story and brainstormed with him to seek solutions to his problems: no money, how to connect with his grandmother to ask for help, find a meal and a place to stay. Gradually answers began to fall into place. C. came back the next day. Then he revealed that he was a recovering addict and wanted to avoid places like homeless shelters because he believed that there he would be tempted by drugs or alcohol.
Over the next day C. went to job interviews and eventually got a skycap job. Two weeks later he again came to Nancy’s office to report that the job was going well and he had a place to live. He thanked her for the time and help she had given him.
Mother and Two Pre-Teen Daughters
A mother, S., and two daughters were in a domestic violence shelter in west Phoenix. Their abuser was soon to be released from jail. The shelter was the best temporary protection available. However, S. had family in the Mid-west that promised a place to live and support to help with a new beginning, if they could get there. The shelter case manager contacted Travelers Aid to request relocation assistance. When the details were confirmed Travelers Aid purchased three Greyhound tickets using a 25% discount Greyhound allows TA plus donated funds designated for relocations. In a short time the three were on their way to a new life, with heart-felt thanks to Travelers Aid.