Building a new future

Building a New Future

Grants from Desert Financial help people find new abilities

Desert Financial awarded grants to several local organizations in 2016, including ABILITY 360, a program that helps people like Steve Norton. 

Living Well With a Disability

In 2012, Steve Norton had a massive stroke, leaving him in a coma with multiple organ failure. He wasn’t expected to live, much less recover. Fortunately, he beat the odds and started to work toward building a new life.

Almost a year after his stroke, Steve was living in a group home, but determined to regain his independence. “The doctors said I would never live on my own and that I would be in a facility the rest of my life,” Steve said. “I didn’t accept that. This was not going to define me.”

Steve looked for resources to help him and learned about the Living Well with a Disability program offered through ABILITY 360. He signed up for the 10 week class and started setting goals and creating plans for the future.

“This program changed my life,” he said, and by the end of class, he had the resources and skills to move out on his own. “This course taught me how to meet those goals with my disability, or rather my new abilities.”

Steve now lives independently and is working on his next goal – opening an accessible café and cooking school within the ABILITY 360 complex. He also participates as a mentor to people participating in the program, and presents some of the classes.

“The course is about showing people how to create opportunities for themselves,” said Leanne Murrillo, a certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist at ABILITY 360 and the facilitator of the class. “Every time I hold the class, I get just as much out of it as the participants do,” she said.

 “Thank you so much to Desert Financial,” Leanne said. “The grants provided by Desert Financial have helped change hundreds of lives. We see people living life and reaching their goals.”

To learn more about the Living Well with a Disability class or to apply, visit ABILITY 360. Classes are offered several times a year.

Building a New Future Goal 

Desert Financial also recently awarded grants of up to $10,000 to eight other community organizations including Kitchen on the Street, Native American Connections and Assistance League of Phoenix, which provides new school clothing and backpacks to children in need. We’re proud to support our community and help organizations that make a difference in the lives of others.