A homeless camp known as "Camp Alpha," housed nearly 30 individuals right off the freeway in Mesa. Numerous tents and RV's surrounded the dirt lot off McKellips and the 101, "this is the place these people called home," Nina a volunteer at the campsite said. Nina and her 4-year old daughter have been volunteering with the "community" after Nina's mother saw the tops of tents driving along the freeway. "We saw a lot of love and closeness here, it's no way to live, but this was their home."
The camp sat on land owned by ADOT, after nearly a year of attention, the state of Arizona ordered the land to be vacated.
The Phoenix Rescue Mission along with Community Bridges, Veterans Services, ADOT, and the Phoenix Police Department gathered together Tuesday morning to have all the resources in one place, to transition the individuals out of homelessness, and safely and successfully relocate. "We go where the need is greatest. Ideally, we introduce them into the faith-based programs and the Phoenix Rescue Mission, but really it starts with planting that seed, once you do that you never know how God will move," Logan, a long-time volunteer with the homeless outreach team said.
The Phoenix Rescue Mission's outreach team went to the camp armed with both of the Hope Coach vans, geared with water and the homeless outreach team, to offer the services needed to make sure the individuals "living" on the land stay off the streets, and away from a life of homelessness.
The Mission has a partnership with the police, and the city, giving them the tools they need when they come across situations like these. This partnership gives everyone the tools necessary to get individuals the resources they need to live successful and healthy lives. Although, this was one of the largest camps any of the organizations had worked with, these living conditions are far too common in the City of Phoenix in our homeless communities. Nina explains, "they need resources, they need housing, they don't know how to take that first step, they need someone to help guide them."
Camp Alpha was successfully vacated on Tuesday.
Learn more about Camp Alpha here.