After 18 Months, RESET Participants Reap Life-Changing Rewards

  • Anne Thwaits
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Juliet - first RESET graduate

Launched by ICS in spring 2021, RESET is a wraparound support program that aims to help clients achieve long-term stability. Participants work with program staff for 12-24 months to navigate out of poverty and establish a life of self-sufficiency. By the end, they will have pressed a figurative “reset” button, leaving equipped with tools, connections and resources to keep them on the path to long-term stability.

A robust referral network, access to financial assistance, personalized plan management, and social support building are just some of the benefits for participants. The program is trauma informed, recognizing that loss plays a role in the cyclical effects of poverty.

“Self-sufficiency isn’t just about having a good job,” says Maryann Moulinet, RESET program coordinator. “It’s also having affordable housing, good medical care, good childcare. It incorporates so many things, and it takes time.”

More than a year into the program, the first cohort of participants are enjoying major successes as a result of their hard work. Here are three of their stories.


When Juliet joined RESET in July 2021, she was unemployed and had a four-year-old daughter. She had just finished the Getting Ahead workshop series at ICS. With funding from RESET, she completed the required training to become a Getting Ahead facilitator and began leading others through the same course that set her on the path to self-sufficiency.

With encouragement from RESET and soft skills developed in ICS’s Workforce Development Center, Juliet gained the confidence to update her resume, practice interviewing skills, and start applying for jobs. She applied for a receptionist position in a tax preparation company where the employers liked her so much they offered to train her to become a tax preparer. She worked in that role from January–May, 2022.

Two months later Juliet joined the ICS staff as program coordinator in the Workforce Development Center at the Central Office. She supports job seekers through all aspects of the employment search and helps them acquire transferrable skills. She became the first RESET program graduate in August 2022.


Nada with CNA certificate


When war broke out in Syria, Nada and her husband escaped to Egypt. Nada, who was pregnant at the time, was able get a visa to visit her brother in Tucson, but her husband’s application was denied. For seven years she worked to support herself and her son while building a new life in the U.S. and waiting for news about her husband’s future.

Nada joined the newly-created RESET program to get support in her efforts to create a financially sustainable future for her family. A year later she completed a Certified Nursing Assistant program and passed the Arizona state exam to receive her license. A month after that accomplishment, her eight-year trial with the immigration process came to an end when her husband finally received asylum and joined his family in Tucson, seeing his son in person for the first time.


Charlene with Habitat Tucson house


Charlene was a divorcing mother of two when she was referred to ICS by her faith community. She needed short-term financial assistance to pay her bills, and ended up entering the RESET program to make long-term changes for the better for herself and her two children.

Charlene worked with Maryann Moulinet to apply for Habitat for Humanity’s housing program. After Charlene’s application was accepted, she was required to donate 250 hours of labor at Habitat construction sites before she could move ahead. After her normal workday she often headed to a construction site or to an interview for a higher-paying job.

The dream of owning an affordable home became reality in December 2022 when Charlene received the keys to her new home. She knows how it feels to wonder where you’ll sleep at night, and now she has the assurance that her children won’t experience that kind of instability. They have a permanent, affordable place to call home.

RESET connects participants to vital resources, but the coaching and personal connection are also key. “I hang on to the message of being valued,” Charlene says. “Maryann and ICS say to me, ‘You know you can do this, let’s get you there and see what else you can do.’”

TOP: Juliet (right) receives her graduation award from RESET Program Coordinator Maryann Moulinet.
MIDDLE: Nada displays her CNA license.
BOTTOM: Charlene (center), with Moulinet and ICS CEO Tom McKinney, received the keys to her new house in Dec. 2022.