Heroin and Opioids: A Growing Epidemic

An opioid related epidemic has been growing for a number of years in our city and sadly just now beginning to break into the immediate realities of the mainstream consciousness.

Current Arizona Department of Health Services and National Institute on Drug Abuse information show a strikingly grim reality; although heroin and opioid related deaths in the U.S. and Arizona have been increasing for nearly a decade now, 2016 marked a spike in the overall trend.

A look at some of the recently released statistics show how serious and widespread the issue has become.

  • In 2016, somewhere between 59,000 and 65,000 people died of overdoses in the U.S.
  • In Arizona, a total of 790 people (on average more than two a day) dies from overdose of opioid prescription medication s and heroin in 2016.
  • Over the last five years, heroin related deaths have triples in Arizona, and heroin specifically accounted for 39 percent of all opioid deaths last year.
  • Arizona adults 45 to 54 had the highest overdose rates at 18.1 deaths per 100,000 people.
  • Additionally, "opiod-related encounters" cost the Arizona health-care system more than $341 million in 2015 alone and there were an estimated 51,000 "opioid-related encounters" at hospitals in 2016.

State health officials report that this surge shows no signs of stopping.

Phoenix Rescue Mission is doing it's part to help with the surge in overdoses in Arizona. We are already training our staff and volunteers on opiod safety and overdose prevention, as well as the recognition of an overdose. We are also now providing many of our centers and our Hope Coach with Naloxone, a medication used to block the effects of opiods. Administering Naloxone during an overdose is the first step in saving a life!

It's another way that your support is keeping our neighboss on this side of eternity! Our hope is to provide more man and women like Trevor (cover), who have gotten caught up in this tremendously addictive and deadly drug, with a second shot at life and a second chance at transformation.

Love. Connect. Serve.

The holiday season is a tough time for the men, women, and children at the Phoenix Rescue Mission. The end of the year always has a way of bringing up emotions that leave you feeling broken, longing for a new start. October for Southgate church, however, is a long-anticipated time of year. "Planning has been going on for the last few month," Josie a member of Southgate explains.

This year is the fourth year Southgate has been coming to the Phoenix Rescue Mission's Changing Lives Center for women and children, and throwing an all-campus festival. "This event is the highlight of the year for our church!" At Southgate, the mission is LOVE. CONNECT. SERVE. "Today is all about that," Nate a Southgate member explains. This is our community outreach, and we love partnering with the Phoenix Rescue Mission to do this event every year. "This is a great distraction, Rebecca, a client at the Phoenix Rescue Mission says. "It is so important to have fun while in recovery, we work so hard. Today was much needed. I feel refreshed."

Southgate church shuts down for the day, and members "bring church" to the Changing Lives Center. The day begins with church service, and after service the campus becomes a fair of sorts. With games, a bounce house, a dunk tank, and plenty of food to feed almost 200 bellies!

Thank you to Southgate church and all of it's members for coming together and making this event happen year after year. These days are so critical in the recovery of the women and their children working towards new life at the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

"I love seeing all the smiles," says Connie a client of the Changing Lives Center, "it's a good day!"

“Saying Good Bye to My Old Self”

When you walk around the Mission, you see men and women who came from a variety of situations. Many of them still wear signs of their past selves on their skin. Tattoos can be a permanent reminder of your past, your old self. _____ explains the tattoo that goes across her entire neck. "It was my old street name, this was what everyone on the streets knew me by."

The National Laser Institute recognizes that some decisions can never be undone. Tattoos, often are one of those decisions. "When I look at my tattoos, I am reminded of my past."

Like many organization, churches, individuals that partner with the Mission, the National Laser Institute wanted to be a part of life transformation. They offered to serve four women going through program at the Mission, and remove the tattoos of their pasts, free of charge. The day after their treatments, the women were already seeing their tattoos fading.

National Laser Institute instructor, Shelley Cook, has provided our clients with an opportunity to have their tattoos removed by being subjects of teaching for new laser techs. An ambassador of the Mission, John Humphrey, shared this resource with the Mission and allows us to identify clients in need of this service and each campus moving forward with set up transportation once every 8 weeks to have clients receive this gift!

"It was very emotional, it was riding myself of my old identity. The old is gone."

The National Laser Institute is giving individuals working towards new life, a chance to continue in their transformation. This month we were able to help nine clients with LIFE CHANGING TATTOO REMOVAL. Some of the clients will require multiple trips and some tattoos will be done with one trip, but it depends on how your body absorbs the ink.

The Phoenix Rescue Mission is so blessed by organizations, churches, and individuals who want to serve.  step up to be a part of life transformation for the men, women, and children that are currently going through program at the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

Exclusive Red Carpet Movie Premiere – OCT 18TH!

SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME is the true story of international art dealer Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear), who befriends a homeless man (Djimon Hounsou) in hopes of saving his struggling marriage to Debbie (Renee Zellweger), a woman whose dreams will lead all three of them on the most remarkable journey of their lives. Jon Voight plays Hall’s father, with whom he reconciles thanks to the revelations of his new life.

With much of the story taking place at a rescue mission, Pure Flix Entertainment and Paramount Pictures have provided the opportunity for helping and compassion organizations to host pre-release red carpet events on October 18, 2017.

See this video invitation from Ron Hall, author of the book and co-author of the screen play.

You are cordially invited to join Phoenix Rescue Mission volunteers, donors and friends for this once in a generation event! Limited number of seats available, reserve your spot TODAY! This is your chance to see the movie before it hits theaters!

Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2017

 

Movie Times: 7:00, 7:30, 8:00

 

Locations:

AMC DESERT RIDGE 18

21001 N TATUM BLVD STE 32

PHOENIX, AZ 85050

 

AMC AHWATUKEE 24

4915 E RAY RD

PHOENIX, AZ 85044

 

AMC WESTGATE 20

9400 WEST HANNA DR.

GLENDALE, AZ 85031

 

Ticket Price: $15.00 Donation

 

Space is limited!! Reserve your seats today!!

 

Click HERE to purchase your tickets for this exclusive pre-screening of Same Kind of Different as Me!

Flagging Down Hope | July 2015 Newsletter

Transformation 360Flagging Down Hope

Walking home in the blistering July heat with her two children in tow, Eurodyces Dean started to wonder if she had made a mistake. Necessity had brought her to Phoenix; the moist, cold air of Chicago didn’t mix well with her son’s chronic lung disease. After an asthma attack last winter had nearly cost him his life, his doctor assured her that he would be safer in the dry heat of the southwest.

But now they were stuck.

Eurodyces didn’t know anyone here. The job search wasn’t going as planned. She had run out of savings and had been forced to move her family into transitional housing. She was wondering how she would put food on the table that week when Eurodyces saw a van in the distance. As it slowed down to pull a u-turn, she was able to read the words on the side.

Those simple words would change her life.

“I saw on the van it said Hope Coach and things like food and shelter,” says Eurodyces. “I waved down the driver to ask how I could get in contact with this Phoenix Rescue Mission.”

Chaplain Cliff Danley, Hope Coach coordinator, saw Eurodyces and her two children, 10 year old Theophilus and 5 year old Andrea, and offered them sack lunches, bottled water and the promise of a return trip.

Exactly what we needed

Over the next few months a friendship blossomed between Cliff and the Dean family.

“I text him on a regular basis to see how his day is going and to get his advice on different things. When he’s in the area he’ll stop by to see how we are doing. My kids adore him, they get excited when I tell them he’s on the way and they are sad to see him go. Everyone at the Mission is like that, so friendly and willing to help. It’s like I gained a family.”

But that wasn’t the end of the story. The food boxes and toiletries were helping keep the Dean family off the streets, but they weren’t a solution. She needed income. The problem was, the bus system in Phoenix is much different from the one in Chicago. The slow transit times and limited routes make it almost impossible to hold a steady job. She actually had to pass on a high-paying position because public transportation wouldn’t get her to work by the time her shift started.

She knew that if her situation was going to change she needed a car.

homeless-families-blog

“The next time I saw Cliff I asked him to pray with me about it,” says Eurodyces. “The same day, I found an elderly lady through Craigslist that not only took $300 less for her car than she was asking for it, she even paid for the title transfer and gave me $100 of my money back so I could afford insurance! If that’s not an answer to prayer, I don’t know what is.”

Today thanks to the prayers and support of friends like you, the Dean family no longer needs the support of the Mission. They are back on their feet and doing great. Eurodyces has a full-time position, her own apartment and the future is looking bright. She even surprised Cliff a few weeks ago by volunteering her time in our cafeteria.

“I don’t know what I would have done without Cliff and the Mission. I’m thankful that I’m able to give a little back to those who gave to me when I needed it most,” explains Eurodyces.

The Mission is committed to not only transforming the lives of the homeless but also helping families on the brink find hope and a path back to self-sufficiency. Thank you for the support that keeps loving families like Eurodyces’ safe, healthy and off the streets.

A Relationship in Good HealthGCU Nurses

From blisters and bug bites to more serious issues like respiratory infections and heart conditions, the homeless men and women we serve come to us suffering from a wide spectrum of medical issues. In an effort to better serve them, the Phoenix Rescue Mission has formed a brand new partnership with the Nursing Program at Grand Canyon University.

Every Tuesday, student nurses travel to the Community Services Center and the Changing Lives Center to perform wellness checks on both the recovery program residents and our homeless guests.

“We look at vital signs, check for immunizations, give information about STD testing and promote the importance of hydration, healthy nutrition and exercise,” says nurse Lynne Larson, head of the GCU nursing partnership program. “This is only our second semester but already we’ve seen lives saved as a result of our partnership.”

But our residents aren’t the only ones benefitting. The student nurses learn a lot from the experience.

“Unlike a hospital setting were we follow nurses and watch, here we’re required to apply what we’ve learned,” explains student nurse Shea Foster. “These people are relying on us to know what we are talking about, to be detailed in our approach. It’s the difference between watching and doing. We have the ability to make a difference and here we’re able to exercise that ability.”

Nurse Larsen’s life has been touched so much by what she’s seen at the Mission, that both she and her students want to do even more.

Their long-term goal is to set up a permanent examination clinic at the Mission to provide daily access to medical help to those who need it most. When they’re not on campus providing wellness checks, these students are out looking for financial support and donated medical supplies from businesses and others in the community – to make the clinic a reality.

“Before this current class graduates in December, we plan on having all the medical supplies we need collected and a computer record system up and running. Each subsequent class will pick up where the last one left off until we have a permanent, fully operational clinic here at the Mission,” explains Nurse Larson.

We’re excited! It’s another way we’re expanding our care and keeping our homeless neighbors healthy and safe, while continuing to bring transformation into their lives. Thank you for the support that makes life-saving partnerships like this possible!

Main Thing

Our old Phoenix Rescue Mission logo served us well for over 20 years. For more than two decades it represented hope to tens of thousands of men, women and children in desperate need of shelter, restoration and new life.

Phoenix Rescue Mission

As the Lord has blessed us and we continue to expand, to offer brand new services like the soon to be permanent GCU Student Medical clinic, we began to realize that the old logo wasn’t telling the full story. We wanted something that, at a glance, would better reflect who we are, what we do, and the wonderful city where we see God work every day.

Using the colors of the southwest, our new logo depicts a phoenix, the namesake of our city and a symbol of transformation. The phoenix is shown arising out of the ashes at the foot of the cross - the only place where true transformation is found. It all combines together to give a more accurate picture of what Phoenix Rescue Mission is all about.

shelter-blog

But our logo is not all that’s changing. The Mission is getting a facelift as well. As you can see, our expansion project is coming along nicely. Soon the second floor of the emergency shelter will be finished, offering more soft, safe beds to those who need them than ever before. The new computer lab is also a part of the construction, providing more space and more men and women the opportunity to find employment, housing, and learn valuable job skills through our vocational development program. Construction is moving so quickly that this picture is already outdated! To see more photos of our construction, visit phoenixrescuemission.org/1801.

This is an exciting time for the Mission and for those we serve. It won’t be long before we’re able to serve more souls than ever before in more ways than ever before – and it’s all because of the prayers and support of friends like you.

Thank you so much for the time, talent and treasure that makes improvements like this possible. Through our partnership, Phoenix is rising.