A Tote Filled with Hope

 

For many homeless, living on the streets will mean that they must go without – without a roof over their heads, without a place to shower, and during the sweltering summer months in Phoenix, without any real place of respite from the deadly heat. In an effort to keep them safe, the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Hope Coach travels the streets of Phoenix, offering water, assistance, and Hope Totes to the homeless they meet. Jessica, grateful to have received a tote of her own, discusses with the Hope Coach team the difficulties she’s facing. “Out here, there are so many people waiting to take advantage of you. So seeing a friendly face that welcomes you and is there for you…” Jessica says, as tears roll down her face. “I’m very thankful for Phoenix Rescue Mission and everyone who works with them. You really do help and make a difference.” These totes perform double duty – not only giving hope in a physical way, but also a means to begin a, hopefully, life-transforming discussion.

Inside the one-gallon Ziploc bag, recipients will find basic necessities, such as food, hygiene kits, socks, and other items that can help make the summer months easier to navigate. The tote Jessica received was special – it was one of the 1,455 totes handmade and donated by Palm West Community Church, and made with more than 35,000 items! Jim and Claudia Smith, Palm West’s Hope Tote Coordinators, said, “Our members work on this ministry all year long. We trust the bags will bring hope to those who receive them.” Thank you, Palm West Community Church, for your faithful service to our community! During these harshest parts of the summer, Phoenix Rescue Mission is especially in need of a large supply of these totes.

You can help make a big impact by donating Hope Totes during our Code Red Heat Relief campaign. For instructions on assembling and where to drop them off, please visit phoenixrescuemission.org/you-can-help/volunteer/

Thank you for your continued support in helping make this sweltering summer safe for those with no place to find relief.

Code:Red Summer Heat Relief

In anticipation of what could be its hottest summer ever recorded, the Code:Red Summer Heat Relief has begun! The program, which will run until August 31, is dedicated to providing food, water, and other heat relief to the elderly and homeless population in the Valley of the Sun.

Men, women, and children experiencing homelessness are at risk of dying from excessive heat, a fate that 114 individuals fell victim to in 2017 in Phoenix.

Here's how you can help:

  • Organize a water drive - challenge your co-workers, family, friends, or church to join you in providing life-saving water this summer to those who need it most. Ready to start your drive? Contact Catie Hammann: chammann@phoenixrescuemission.org or 602-346-3347 to get started!
  • Volunteer - there are plenty of opportunities at the Phoenix Rescue Mission to make a difference in the lives of those we serve. See our latest volunteer opportunities HERE.
  • Donate - If you live in Arizona, you know costs rise in the summer time. From air to energy, man-power and extra equipment, our summer time costs are high. Make your greatest impact by simply donating. Because of a generous donor, your GIFT WILL DOUBLE thanks to a matching grant! Make your donation HERE.

Volunteer drivers will help the Hope Coach Outreach program to deliver needed items to the Valley’s homeless and elderly population. Drop-off sites that accept donations of heat relief items like hats, sunscreen and water are located throughout the city. If you are interested in helping The Red Summer Heat Relief Campaign, contact Catie Hammann: chammann@phoenixrescuemission.org or 602-346-3347 or learn more HERE.

 

 

Free Arizona Rattlers Tickets!

Donate water and receive two Arizona Rattlers tickets! The Arizona Rattlers are partnering up with First Credit Union and the Phoenix Rescue Mission to help those in need this summer. Donate a 24 case of water or more and receive two complimentary tickets to the Rattlers game on May 27th! Drop off bottled water at any of First Credit Union locations around the Valley and get your tickets! For First Credit Union of Arizona locations click HERE. All donated water will go to the Phoenix Rescue Mission to serve those in need this summer.

Make sure to drop off your donation before May 25th to receive your tickets. Limit of two (2) Arizona Rattlers tickets per person, per donation of 24 or more bottles of water, per day. Max of six (6) tickets per person.

 

Valley of the Shadows

Cliff Danley, Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Street Outreach Coordinator, arrives at the Central Phoenix park, where a new homeless camp has been discovered. His police contacts have notified him about a homeless woman who needs help. Her name is Naomi. Cliff met her by the entrance to the park. She takes him back to a tent she calls home, as she explains how she has been living on the streets for a little more than a year now. She knows the heat in the coming summer months is dangerous and will likely become too much for her.

Here at the park, even though the summer months are just beginning, the temperature has already begun to exceed 100 degrees and can be nearly unbearable without some sort of protection. Cliff hopes that, in meeting with Naomi, she may find the help she needs before the rising heat becomes deadly. Cliff knows how dangerous our summers can be to homeless neighbors like Naomi. He patrols the sizzling streets every summer as a part of Code:Red, handing out cold bottles of water and invitations to the Mission to those caught out in the sun.

Last year, in the nick of time, he happened to come across a man suffering from heatstroke. He immediately called paramedics – a move that saved the man’s life. Cliff doesn’t want the same for Naomi. With that scene likely playing through his mind, he extends an invitation to the Mission, hoping she’ll accept. But even though she knows she needs to leave the streets soon, sadly, she’s not ready to do so today. So, Cliff gives her the next best things: prayer, water, food and supplies to keep her safe, and information on how to contact him when she is ready to leave her tent behind.

It can be frustrating to watch someone walk away when you know she needs help. We don’t know the reason – what keeps her tied to the streets. But we aren’t giving up hope on Naomi. We will be checking back, continuing to extend an invitation and looking forward to the day she makes the decision to change her life. Hopefully she gets that chance. As we continue to minister to the Naomis of Phoenix, we need your help to reach out to them in love and offer them hope. It’s your support that makes our outreach possible and gives those

 

Valley of the Shadows

Teresa has been homeless for more than four years in downtown Phoenix. Now 43, she started living on the streets after being unable to pay rent for her trailer at a nearby trailer park. With no friends or family able to take her in, she felt she had no other alternative but to figure out how to survive on the streets.

Today, as local Phoenix Rescue Mission Hope Coach workers talk with her, she mentions how she struggles with dyslexia and severe depression, both of which make it hard for her to find any consistent work. She attempts to get what little she can by doing occasional cleaning jobs around the valley.

For Teresa, today can be a day where she finds a brief light in the midst of the dark, homeless, and hidden world she resides in. Each and every day, thanks to your support and partnership, Phoenix Rescue Mission is working to give people like Teresa a source of hope and change to take them from the dark, hidden Valley of Shadows she and many other Phoenix homeless residents find themselves trapped in.

Through God, we will continue to bring a light of hope and freedom to these darkened areas and to truly be a Valley of the Sun for the hopeless and homeless throughout Phoenix.

Teresa receives a thermal coat, water bottles, and toiletries from the Hope Coach workers. This is all a small part of what the Mission offers daily to those living on the streets.