Class of 2012: Advocate for Homeless Lives for ‘God Moments’

April 25, 2012 / by / 5 Comments

THIRD IN A SERIES 

By Doug Carroll
GCU News Bureau 

Tracy Geivett is fond of talking about “God moments” in life, but there’s only one way to describe what happened to her in 2008. 

That was a God year. 

First came her baptism, on the Fourth of July. While growing up in Pennsylvania, she had gone to church in what she calls “a lily/poinsettia family,” showing up for Easter and Christmas and little else. At the encouragement of her oldest son, who was involved in Young Life, she had returned to faith. 

Then, in October, came another divine appointment. On a visit to the Human Services Campus in downtown Phoenix — and specifically the Chaplaincy for the Homeless located there — she felt an unmistakable connection. 

“I think this is where I’m supposed to be,” she told her husband, Daniel, convinced that a 20-year career as a hairstylist was over and done. 

Tracy Geivett's passion for helping the homeless is seen everywhere in her office, including a basket full of positive words of encouragement.

Initially she volunteered, then she was hired as a part-time assistant. Finally, about a year ago, she took over as full-time chaplain and executive director of the chaplaincy, a faith-based, service-oriented, non-profit organization that helps the homeless obtain identification (it’s harder than you think). 

And now she’s graduating from GCU with a bachelor’s degree in Christian studies to apply to a passion for assisting the poor. A master’s degree is next. 

“Where you sleep at night does not define who you are,” says Geivett, 45, of Goodyear, who was nearly finished with a degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix when she decided to transfer to GCU. 

“Everyone on the street has a mother, father, sister or brother, and you have to connect to that. I love God, advocating for the homeless and changing people’s minds.” 

Work that renews faith 

While freely admitting that her work “isn’t all puppy dogs and rainbows,” she finds her faith being renewed by those who have nothing. 

Some are like the elderly woman who came via public transit all the way from Avondale to replace her green card, which she needed in order to claim her late husband’s Social Security benefits. The woman waited patiently all day for an appointment. 

Others are appreciative of prayer or simply a kind word. 

“People feel comfortable talking to me,” Geivett says, “and I think they leave with something. I got that from GCU. I can talk with those who have faith — or no faith. 

“This place is filled with God moments. Amazing things happen here, and I’m beyond blessed to be a part of it.” 

Three pieces of identification — including a birth certificate — are required in order to qualify for an Arizona ID. Without the state ID, “you can’t even get a food box down the street,” Geivett says, not to mention a job. 

Utilizing social media 

She gets involved in much of the necessary legwork, and she has implemented a host of social-media tools in the process. She’s constantly on Facebook and Twitter, and she blogs and produces a weekly newsletter. She is known to governmental agencies across the country. 

Dave Goodall, who served as chaplain for nine years before retiring, says hiring Geivett is making him look good. 

“I’m something of a curmudgeon,” Goodall says, “and she brings a kinder spirit. She has a heart for what she does, and she does many things better than I ever did. With legal immigrants, she’s probably the leading expert on replacing documents who’s not working at a law office.” 

However, the personal touch is what truly sets her apart. Inside the door to the modest-but-homey chaplaincy office sits a wicker basket, full of small pieces of paper, with this handwritten note: “Running low on positive thoughts? Take one! On the house!” 

If there’s anything Geivett has in abundance, it’s positive thoughts. 

“I want them to know God loves them and they don’t need to do anything special for that,” she says as tears come to her eyes. “It’s very important that all people — drug addicts, prostitutes, anyone — know that God wants them. That’s the most important thing to me.” 

To learn more about the Chaplaincy for the Homeless, go to www.azhomeless.org. 

Contact Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or doug.carroll@gcu.edu.


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5 Responses
  1. Chris Cramer

    Way to go Tracey! Making all of us back here in Lititz, PA hometown proud!!!

    Apr.25.2012 at 12:31 pm
  2. Phyllis Denison

    Bless you Tracey. You are a true inspiration to so many including me. Having met you, having spent time with you at Chaplaincy and CASS was a truly spiritual experience.
    Congratulations on your graduation.

    Apr.25.2012 at 4:29 pm
  3. Bonita T. Baldwin

    Praise God for people like you!! God bless you in all you do.

    Apr.26.2012 at 6:11 am
  4. Tracy Geivett

    Thank you so much!!

    May.07.2012 at 2:17 pm
  5. Kenneth M. Wilbourne Jr

    God Bless Tracy Geivett. Yes, the poor are God’s people too. They need God, salvation, and respect, and to be ministered to. And, in todays world, more than ever, people can be bullied for any reason by “the system”,though they are innocent, and lose everything they have, and suffer from the consequences of health problems that were forced on their life to discredit, harm, disable, and sometimes worse. Mental and physical effects can be achieved by sophisticated secret remote direct energy weapons. These types of victims are known as “targeted individuals”- their stories are unbelievable, yet they are accurate stories, which are all over the internet, pleading for help. These are mind control cases. Mind control is operational, experimental, and sometimes extermination for all types of nefarious, exploitation, and greed reasons. The government will not investigate and denies their claims. No one is doing enough to help targeted individuals. Catherine Austin Fitz has said the US government is irradiating innocent citizens with “soft-kill” weapons and no one understand them nor how to defend themselve from them. Mindjustice.org is a credible website about remote weapons including “mind-hacking” capability. Dr. John Hall has written a book, “A New Breed: Satellite Terrorism.”

    May.15.2012 at 8:18 pm
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