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The Moore Factor

To sum it up, the Moore Factor, is a belief that every single human

being is redeemable, falling takes each of us one step closer to

standing, that there is no obstacle too big to overcome and that we

never, ever, ever give up on others.

It was an early fall morning and Lisa Moore was having coffee with

her attorney, Dennis Cameron. Dennis had walked through the dark

night of the soul with Lisa, he had watched her stumble and fall many

times. And just as often, he had been witness to her indomitable spirit

that makes her unique, that part of her which gives hope, strength,

and courage to get up and face a new day with a smile.  Lisa’s indomitable

spirit is the spark that gives life and perseverance on a long-term basis.

On that early morning, Dennis posed a question to Lisa that would change her life forever. He asked, “If you could, what would you do that would create change in our community?”  Seems like a simple question and one many of us may have asked ourselves over the course of our lives. But for Lisa, it was a powerful, life-changing question and without missing a beat she responded, “I would open a home for women, a place where we could change the story of how we fought against one another on the streets, a place where we could support one another and become better versions of ourselves.”

And so, Life Changes was born.  Dennis helped Lisa find a home for women in Sparks, Nevada. In the early years, Lisa lived in the home and provided hope and comfort for the many women that came through her doors.  She says it became a “dumping ground” of sorts for all the women the criminal justice system just didn’t know what to do with. But Lisa knew – she knew these women just needed someone on their side, someone who would never give up on them, someone who would stand close as they failed and give them the courage to try again. They needed the Moore Factor and that is just what she gave them.

Lisa tells the story of a very young girl (Emma) that came to her addicted to heroin. She tells of how many times this young girl tried and failed to get clean and sober. Of the heartache, of staying up nights on end to sit by her side and hold her hand as her body convulsed and her mind broke. She tells of the tears and heartache and anger and desperation this young girl experienced over the course of her time with Life Changes. But no matter what, Lisa stood with her and believed in her.  Lisa has an inherent knowledge that believing in someone until they can believe in themselves is the key to change. And so, she believed, she loved, she accepted without judgement. Eventually Emma did get and stay clean. Emma did begin believing in herself and discovered what it feels like to experience self-love. Emma learned to accept the love and compassion that Lisa gave and through that, she learned to forgive herself for what she had put her body, mind, and spirit through. Today, Emma is a successful businesswoman and the individual that Lisa first thinks of when recalling the early years of Life Changes.

Sadly, not all the stories of the Life Changes residents turn out as powerful as Emma’s has.  Some of the Life Changes residents are still struggling with their addiction, some of them continue to return to abusive relationships, the streets, prostitution, incarceration and the dark night of the soul. But the Moore Factor suggests that we never give up on them. More times than we can count, the phone rings and Lisa picks up to hear one of “her girls” or “her guys” on the other end asking for help. Because Lisa never, ever, ever gives up, she welcomes them back home to Life Changes and gives them all the love and support she has to offer. Lisa has been known to get word of one of her girls in trouble and she sets out to find them. She has driven the streets, knocked on doors, confronted men and women twice her size to save her girls. And more often than not, she is successful. Around the town of Reno, everyone knows that when Lisa shows up, the Calvary has arrived! 

As Lisa’s reputation and the success of Life Changes grew, more and more men came to Lisa hoping to find a safe haven. Because her heart is bigger than all of outdoors, she spoke to her board and they agreed to open a Life Changes for men.  Using the same philosophy, the Moore Factor, the men of Life Changes began to get clean, they begin to redefine their lives, reunite with their families, and become the fathers their children needed.  Lisa refused to believe that getting clean meant something different for men than it did for women. Because of the beautiful light that she is, she gave these men the same love and compassion and non-judgmental acceptance that she so freely gave to her girls.

Lisa recalls Ron, a gentleman that had been in prison for many years when he was paroled out to the homeless shelter.  She found him sitting on the bench along the river. His energy was low, and he was filled with despair. Lisa’s first instinct is always to offer help and hope and so she sat down next to him and asked him to tell her his story. Ron spoke of all the years he had done on the inside, of having no family or support, of being unable to find work and living in the shelter. Ron said he almost just wanted to go back to prison because at least there he had a bed and a meal, and he knew what his days would look like.  Lisa and Ron walked as they talked, and she bought him a meal from a nearby food truck. She began to gently direct their walk in the direction of the Men’s Life Changes home. She talked to him about divine intervention, and how everything has a purpose. She spoke of God and of a spiritual awakening, she told him her own story of addiction and redemption. Ron, with tears in his eyes, said “I could never do what you do.” And Lisa, in her beautiful and giving way, said, “God has a plan for your life, are you ready to start this adventure?”  And it has been an amazing adventure filled with hope, strength, personal discovery and an awe inspiring spiritual awakening. And now, years later, Ron is one of our strongest and most dedicated House Managers.  Because Ron learned how to create a beautiful life, filled with recovery and strong connection with his higher power, he is able to honestly share his journey and provide support to the many men under his care as they discover a new way to live.

It’s difficult to adequately describe the Moore Factor, because really, how do you describe the light in a person’s soul?  Suffice it to say the Moore Factor is that undeniable belief that every single soul is worth redemption and as long as we have a “never give up” attitude then truly, Life Changes…. when you’re ready.

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