Are you a healthy giver?

Are you a healthy giver?

How you can make a REAL difference this Christmas

During the giving season, more than any other time of the year, we all want to help our fellow brothers and sisters. But are you a healthy giver?

That’s a question we all need to ask before we hand our next $5 bill to someone on the street.

Jerome Parker, of the Healthy Giving Council (of which Phoenix Rescue Mission is a part) is doing his best to get the word out ahead of the crowds this holiday season. “We urge people to not give money or food on the street,” says Jerome. “It’s much more helpful to direct them to an  organization that already provides meals, clothing, and recovery programs set up to close the gap between those who are homeless and permanent housing.”

It may seem counter-intuitive, but feeding someone on the streets does more harm than good. It often leads to discarded trash in our neighborhoods (53 tons of it was collected off the streets between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year) and enables the homeless to avoid help for one more day. It even changes the way we think about the people we are hoping to help. “Street giving and feeding puts us in a frame of mind,” he says, “where we begin to see the homeless as less human. If we’re honest, we know that burger or dollar bill we hand out isn’t going to change  anything.

We do it to make ourselves feel better. We need to ask: Is what we are doing bringing this person closer to, or further away from, ending their homelessness?”

Here are a few easy ways to be a healthy giver!

  1. Hand out the enclosed Rescue Referral cards instead of food or cash when you see someone in need. Including a $4 bus pass is even better (bus passes can be purchased at most gas stations and grocery stores).
  2.  Help provide food, clothing, spiritual guidance, addiction recovery, counseling, education assistance, job training, and so much more by supporting the efforts of the Phoenix Rescue Mission.
  3. Become a volunteer by visiting prm.volunteerhub.com and give your time and energy by serving with us on the front lines.

 

Together, we can make a real difference in the lives of the men and women we see on our streets this holiday season!

Download your own rescue referral cards to print at home by clicking the image below.

Feed a Family this Holiday Season

Turkey Collection Saturday is almost here!

You can provide a meal to a family in need this Thanksgiving by donating a Frozen Turkey on Frozen Turkey Saturday.  Bring a bird to the Phoenix Rescue Mission and stay for lunch and a tour of our Community Services Center. The Mission hopes to reach out to 1,000 families this Thanksgiving with a turkey and all the trimmings. Your frozen turkey is greatly needed to make this happen. Come bring a turkey and see firsthand how God uses your gifts to touch and change the lives of hungry, homeless and hurting men, women and children in your community.

Mission Open House and Frozen Turkey Saturday

This event takes place on Saturday, November 10th 

11 am - 1pm, lunch will be served

Mission Tour Times - 11am, 12pm

Phoenix Rescue Mission Community Solutions Center

1801 S. 35th Ave Phoenix 85009

 

You will receive a tour of the facility and we will treat you to a delicious lunch. Bring a friend - the more the merrier!

We are collecting frozen turkeys to cook our Thanksgiving dinner and give to families in need in our community for the holidays.

If you can join us, or would like to host a drive, please reach out to Catie at 602 346 3347 or chammann@phoenixrescuemission.org

 

Arizona Summit Law School Provides Free Legal Services to Help End Homelessness

Located between the Downtown Core and Capitol Mall, the 13-acre Human Services Campus is a collaboration between many different partner organizations, all working to end homelessness in the community. (Photo: Fara Illich)

 

Tucked inside a bare-bones computer lab on the Human Services Campus in Downtown Phoenix, a group of Arizona Summit Law School students and a professor host a free legal clinic every Tuesday.

It’s a relaxed environment, everyone is dressed down. One student with a laptop anchors one of several small round tables, while a queue forms in the lobby/respite area of the Lodestar Day Resource Center (LDRC).

For more than two hours, there’s a steady stream of people. Every case is different but everyone who walks through the door gets the same three things: eye contact, a warm smile and respect.

“We constantly have to think on the fly — you sit down with clients, they tell you their issue, and you have to start brainstorming immediately,” said Kamal Lahlou, a 33-year-old senior law student.

For the students, they’re receiving invaluable hands-on legal experience, but for those experiencing homelessness — it’s perhaps their only chance to get out.

Many individuals face a complex entanglement of legal woes, sometimes associated with the act of being homeless like loitering or camping. Other times, it’s the reason they lost their home in the first place — a felony conviction, prison stint, domestic abuse, civil or misdemeanor fines.

SOMETIMES A FEW HUNDRED DOLLARS IN COURT FINES CAN ROADBLOCK EMPLOYMENT, RE-HOUSING


From left, professor Susan Daicoff along with students Kamal Lahlou and Michael Jones get ready for the last Human Services Campus legal clinic of the spring 2018 semester. (Photo: Fara Illich)

Maricopa County Regional Homeless Court is also located on the Human Services Campus — just down the hall, in fact. It can resolve minor misdemeanors, victimless offenses, and warrants for those who demonstrate a commitment to end their homelessness.

Referrals to homeless court, clearing up records and settling fines represents a large portion of what the Summit legal clinic does. But it runs the gamut from name changes, divorces, landlord-tenant issues, probate, elder abuse and many, many others.

Under the rules of the Arizona Supreme Court, the students can actually practice law in a clinic setting as active members of the state bar, as long as they’re supervised by a licensed attorney, law professor or with other licensed attorneys.

According to the school’s records, the clinic handled 848 legal matters on the Human Services Campus over a four-year period, with one professor and about 3-5 students per semester.

More than 65 percent of graduating seniors take advantage of one of the legal clinics offered by Summit, according to professor Susan Daicoff, who leads the program and oversees the Human Services Campus clinic.

“When clients say, ‘I don’t want to see anybody else, I only want to see you guys’ —  that’s a great feeling,” she said. “I want people to walk away feeling like we treated them well, that we treated them with respect, that we empowered them to handle their own legal matters, came alongside them, and pulled them out when they were stuck.”

SERVING THE UNDERSERVED IS ONE OF THE MISSION PILLARS OF ARIZONA SUMMIT LAW SCHOOL


Michael Jones chose Arizona Summit Law School for the legal clinic experience, getting real world experience as an attorney. (Photo: Fara Illich)

Students must complete at least 30 hours of pro bono or public service during their studies, which can be achieved through the Human Services Campus clinic, or others. There are about 10 rotating clinics focusing on domestic violence, mediation, veterans, bankruptcy, Native American wills, immigration, post-conviction relief and other issues.

Getting real world, hands-on experience was a big selling point for Michael Jones, who has participated in multiple clinics, his favorite being Arizona StandDown, which helps veterans in-need. He said it’s different than an internship or working at a firm as a file clerk.

“I get to see every aspect of the legal process,” he said. “I might not always know exactly what to do, but I always have the resources around me to problem-solve.”

Jones is 40 years old, married with a small child. So having the flexibility Summit offers is important too.

The school accepts students with lower Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores than many other universities, and offers part-time degrees and evening classes — geared toward working adults.

IT’S A DIFFERENT KIND OF LAW SCHOOL


Arizona Summit Law School is an urban campus with clinic and classroom space in the One North Central building of Downtown Phoenix. (Photo: Fara Illich)

It was established to diversify the least-diverse profession, and it’s making inroads in that area. The student body is 41 percent minority, compared with 26 percent at Arizona State University, and 33 percent at the University of Arizona.

“Serving the underserved” extends to the student population as well. The school accepts more students from disadvantaged economic, social or family circumstances.

“When you think of law school, you always think of the high society types,” said Stephen McClain-Lovato, a 30-year-old senior law student. “That general attitude is stripped away at this school. You’re treated as an equal, you’re treated as a peer.” he said, laughing. He’s a Marine Corps veteran, and likes the humanitarian nature of the Human Services Campus clinic. He’s participated in the homelessness clinic multiple semesters, even volunteering during breaks.

DESPITE THE LAID-BACK ATMOSPHERE, THEY’RE TACKLING SOME SERIOUS CASES


There are about 10 rotating legal clinics offered by Arizona Summit Law School focusing on homelessness, domestic violence, mediation, veterans, bankruptcy, Native American wills, immigration, post-conviction relief and other issues. (Photo: Fara Illich)

Part of what makes the clinic so successful is the network of services clustered on the Human Services Campus — enabling students to work faster, more efficiently. Onsite, you can get a state ID, apply for job, submit social security or disability paperwork, find housing programs, get primary and mental healthcare, access substance abuse treatment — in addition to shelter and a hot meal.

The LDRC — where the clinic is located — is often the first stop on the road to ending homelessness.

“It’s an opportunity for individuals who are experiencing homelessness to gain access to legal counsel in an environment that is sometimes not as threatening as the justice system can be,” said Gina Brockdorff, the supportive services manager at the LDRC. “Those who seek out assistance through the clinic are able to face issues that may be the very barrier standing between them and housing.”

Some simple matters require just a few phone calls and can be resolved same-day, others take years. For issues that require court appearances or legal matters the students can’t tackle, they often leverage strong relationships they have with the local legal community.

“One of the things we learned when we first came to the Human Services Campus is: don’t give a man a fish, teach him how to fish,” Daicoff said. “Our clients are in charge of their own advocacy and we’re just helping shepherd the process, rather than fixing their problems for them.”

 

 

Bringing a Light to the Valley of Shadows

After fleeing from an abusive relationship nearly two months ago, Linda and her daughter, Lisa, have been spending their nights camped out on the sidewalk. So far, they’ve managed to survive the streets. But now the cool spring days are gone.

Summer is here and so is the deadly heat. Bed sheets are strung across their “campsite” in an attempt to hide themselves from the oppressive sun, but it’s not enough to keep them safe.

Already the highs for the day are above 110 degrees and climbing. Heat stroke can strike, regardless of shade. Linda informs the Hope Coach workers that they are the first, beyond a few policemen, to stop by in the past two months and attempt to help.

 

She’s grateful for the water and the hope totes she receives to help keep them safe. Even better – she’s asked us for a followup visit to see how she can get off the streets once and for all! Please pray with us that the next time we see Linda and Lisa they’ll be ready to take that
first step in faith toward transformation! The sidewalk campsite that Linda and Lisa call home won’t be able to protect them from the blistering summer heat.

 

 

 

Make Your WHY A Way of Life

If you’ve ever spent ten minutes with a three-year old, you can vouch for their curiosity. “Why can’t I touch that?” “Why is my hair brown?” “Why does that woman’s face look so old?” While an untimely “why” can put unsuspecting parents in an embarrassing situation, cultivating curiosity is how every child grows. In fact, we should never shy away from life’s
“whys,” even as our children reach adulthood. Here are several “whys” your grown children or grandchildren actually need to hear from you.

• Have you told them WHY they mean so much to you? Many baby boomers grew up in homes where their mother was the only parent handing out hugs and “I love yous.” Many of these adults are still longing for their parents’ affirmation, and those three little words could change their whole life. Don’t be afraid to tell them WHY they mean so much and how you feel about them.

• Have you told them WHY you embraced faith? In John 6:44, Jesus declares, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him…” How were you uniquely drawn to Christ? Communicating your faith journey can help instill a godly legacy and inspire curiosity. If serving Jesus is the WHY that gets you out of bed in the morning — tell them!

• Have you told them WHY you have certain personal values? Perhaps you believe a solid work ethic is of utmost importance. What about living with integrity? Exercising financial stewardship or planning for retirement? Are you passionate about supporting a certain cause? If it matters to you, it’s worth sharing with them.

Many individuals are excited to learn they can easily turn their WHY into action, by supporting a ministry or cause that aligns with their values. For instance, a Charitable Gift Annuity is a simple way to communicate your WHY to the next generation, receive an income stream for life, and bless Phoenix Rescue Mission in the process. In his book Start with Why, author and leadership expert Simon Sinek said “When [someone is] unclear about your WHY, WHAT you do has no context.” But the opposite is also true, when your loved ones understand WHY, WHAT you do will mean so much more.