Spinato’s Closes Restaurant to Serve Community

Four men, once broken, homeless and addicted, now sit at a upscale pizzeria on 7th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix. As a Spinato's staff member came by to check on the men and their food, Chris a now Servant Leader at the Phoenix Rescue Mission is holding back tears. "They opened up their doors to us, they sat down and spoke with us, we prayed together." "I will be talking about tonight for the rest of my life."

Spinato's Pizzeria in Phoenix has a community based mindset, and giving back to their community is part of their Mission. "We have such a big family, our staff is family, our restaurant is a place where we can bring in people and make them feel at home as well," family of owner, Nicole explains.

Spinato's closed their restaurant down to serve 105 men currently residing and transforming their lives at the Phoenix Rescue Mission. "We told our staff, 'take your time, sit down and get to know these men and their stories.'" "They are who we are serving tonight." Efren, has been at the Mission for seven months now and said, "We usually wait in line to get our food everyday. To sit down at a beautiful restaurant and be catered to was so special."

Spinato's gave each men the opportunity to order "anything and everything," from their specialty pizzas, pastas, calzones and even dessert! Tables were full of delicious food, smiles, and full bellies were seen throughout the restaurant. "This is the best pizza I've ever had, 5-star!"

Efren is a part of the staff opening Mission Possible Cafe that will serve the community, and expand the Food Service Vocational training at the Phoenix Rescue Mission, and said, "this event has brought to life the idea of the Cafe." "We will be serving and welcoming our community and serving them, just like Spinato's has opened up our doors to us."

September is Hunger Action Month, and Spinato's has stepped up in a big way, but just like the Mission, Spinato's focuses on food 12 months out of the year. Thank you to the staff, family, and friends that made this incredible night possible. "It was heaven, a night I won't forget." Chris and the other 104 men finished dinner, and were given a hygiene pack to go. Filled with shaving cream, razors, a water tumbler, and other goodies to leave the restaurant with. The men of the Phoenix Rescue Mission left Spinato's with a renewed spirit, full bellies, and full hearts. "Tonight reminded me people care," Efron said as he walked out with left over pizza, a goodie bag, and a smile that will impact others for days to come.

2015 Recap: Transformation by the Numbers

It's easy to get lost in all these numbers. But just think. Every one of those numbers is a person - a man, woman, or child - who was touched by the love of Christ. It's really quite staggering to realize how much impact God is making in Phoenix through the Mission.

And this is only possible because folks like you donate, volunteer, and spread the word! In 2016, the Mission will continue to grow and will keep making a difference in lives in the name of Christ!

 

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6 Reasons the Mission Transformed More Lives Than Ever in 2015

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As the first day of winter, today is National Homeless Persons' Remembrance Day. We are proud to say that the Mission is a powerful force in ending homelessness and providing programs and plans for our hungry, addicted, and needy neighbors. 2015 has been quite a year here at the Mission, but here are a few of the milestones that are helping us transform more lives than ever:

  • PARC: In the spring, we joined with Phoenix Police to begin the "Police and Rescue Collaboration." Our team of Case Managers joined the forces of Phoenix Police as they entered homeless camps. This way, rather than arresting repeat misdemeanor offenders, our case managers spoke with each man and women to help them build a plan and gave them the resources they need to begin taking steps in the right direction. See photos of the first homeless camp we entered together on Facebook.
  • AZ Gives Day: On April 7, Arizona givers voted the Phoenix Rescue Mission into first place on Arizona Gives Day for the 2nd year in a row! Over $97,000 was raised in a single day - nearly double any other competitor - thereby winning an additional $15,000 grant for the transforming work at the Mission. 2016's Arizona Gives Day is coming up on April 5!
  • Clients Reach Out at Momma Jo's: Graduates began reaching out to other homeless and hurting individuals at Momma Jo's in downtown Phoenix. Many of them were once there, but now they want to give hope to the place they had left behind. Watch a video of clients reaching out and sharing hope with others in downtown.
  • 2nd Hope Coach: In late April, a second Hope Coach was donated to the Mission, which doubled the amount of impact we are having on the streets of Phoenix. Double the number of streets we can visit, sack meals we can provide, water bottles we can deliver, and hope we can offer. See the work the Hope Coach is doing and learn about volunteering here.
  • Shelter Expansion Doubles Available Beds: From March through August, we were working to expand our shelter space at the Community Services Center. We had to rearrange significantly to keep beds open even during construction, but upon opening in August, the number of beds for shelter and men's recovery doubled to nearly 200 men every night. See pictures of the entire expansion process on our digital photo album.
  • Biggest Code Red Heat Relief Ever: During our blazing hot summer, hundreds of big businesses, small dental offices, churches, school groups, families, and even kids conducted water drives, raising 860,907 bottles of water! We broke another record by giving away 760,687!! Also, the matching grant in May and June was fully met, we provided life-saving water to many other organizations including St. Mary's Food Bank to spread our impact even further, and the Hope Coach team literally saved the life of someone who nearly died of dehydration on a Phoenix sidewalk. See more about Code Red on our special web page here.

We don't have the final numbers yet, but 2015 is easily going to surpass all other years in number of meals provided, bed nights of shelter offered, and recovery clients transforming their lives.

The life-transforming work being done here at the Mission has also been noticed by our community! We are proud to be counted one of the "2015 Top Homeless Services Organizations" recognized by Coulter Nissan in Surprise. They wrote an excellent article describing the best places in Phoenix to give this winter, and we were at the top of the list!

Program Men Pay It Forward at Momma Jo’s in Downtown Phoenix

The concept of “Paying it Forward” is not lost on those who complete Phoenix Rescue Mission’s recovery program. Not long ago many of our graduates were desperate, strung out, and lost -- barely able to stand in line for a meal. It is a hopelessness that is hard to understand unless you have experienced it firsthand.

Watch as men from our recovery program volunteer at Mama Jo’s Saturday Outreach at Andre House in downtown Phoenix. Not only do they share their testimonies of overcoming the grip of drugs and alcohol, but they serve those waiting for a meal. See them give back and inspire others to make radical changes in their lives.

Bill joined the men's recovery program at the Mission, but relapsed and spent several months on the blistering streets of Phoenix in the summer before overcoming his pride and returning to finish the program. He is now employed, excited about his future, and is one of the men who regularly goes down to Momma Jo's to tell his story. You can read (and watch!) his story by clicking here.