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The Need

Brain science on the impacts of poverty & the path to self-sufficiency.

The reality facing many women in Arizona.

Almost 20% of Arizona women live in poverty.1

Women in poverty often find themselves with few choices and even less hope for their situation to change. Poverty imposes chronic stress by creating circumstances where women are trying to meet urgent needs with limited resources. Repeated over time, brain science has shown us that the intensity of constant, crisis decision-making actually compromises and limits our brain’s executive function, the part of the brain that works to analyze problems, set goals, and overcome challenges.

Imagine the situation: faced with daily dilemmas like choosing to spend money on food or on housing, women in poverty are not able to gain stability, let alone plan ahead or think about what their long-term goals might be.

In other words, brain science has proven that poverty and stress compromise the very same skills and behavior most necessary for people to lift themselves out of it.

This background helps inform Fresh Start’s strategic approach, as we work to meet the needs of the vulnerable women we serve and develop skills for sustained, long-term success.

Of women served in the last fiscal year:

are survivors of domestic violence

are single mothers


have an annual household income less than $25K

A holistic path to self-sufficiency

Informed by brain science and the impacts of chronic stress, Fresh Start has implemented an evidence-informed service provision model that uses strategic goal setting to help women develop their executive function skills, allowing them to reconfigure the brain’s response to decision making.

This approach is proven to help women acquire the tools they need for sustained behavior change, ultimately empowering them to not only achieve economic independence, but sustain it.

woman smiling in front of fresh start women meeting and smiling at resource center


Our approach leverages Mobility Mentoring—an evidence-informed model that works to strengthen persistence and resilience over time through strategic goal setting.

woman smiling in front of fresh start women's resource center

one-on-one support

Each woman has the opportunity to establish an on-going, one-on-one relationship with a Fresh Start social worker who assesses her unique situation and coaches her based on her individual needs, giving her the tools need to both set and achieve strategic goals.

woman and child look over desert

Catalyzing new
change in Arizona

Fresh Start is the first organization in the state of Arizona to implement this approach in partnership with Economic Mobility Pathways (

Moving from “survive” to “thrive.”

From establishing household stability to launching a new career in today’s most in-demand fields, our strategic approach helps women not only achieve economic independence, but sustain it long-term.


Woman and child smiling at the park


Education & employment

Meets urgent needs of women and their families while providing access to the tools, resources, & support necessary to develop long-term behavioral change & achieve personal empowerment

Two woman with goggles evaluating robotic machine


Education & employment

Connect women with sustainable, growth-oriented education & career training opportunities, helping them forge a personalized path towards economic self-sufficiency

Woman celebrating at the top of a cliff on a hike at sunset



Economic self-sufficiency & personal empowerment allows the women we serve to thrive—they can provide for their families, decrease reliance on government subsidies, and contribute to Arizona’s economy

Be part of our impact. Join us in uplifting & supporting Arizona’s women on their journey to self-sufficiency.