A Volunteer’s Perspective

There comes a time in our lives when people cross our paths and we are never the same.

Several months ago, at our volunteer event where we feed dinner to our homeless friends at, Thankful Sundays, I heard the most beautiful music coming from the piano. I walked over and sat down on the stage next to the woman and asked about her story. She was homeless and in an abusive relationship and was struggling with staying away from alcohol because it became easier for her to medicate, to numb the physical and emotional bruises. I knew she wasn’t ready for change yet that day but prayed that the day would come when she would be ready to leave. So, I gave her my cell phone number to call me when she was ready.

The day arrived this morning. I received the call from Barbara that she was on the street and was just discharged from the hospital after her boyfriend beat her up pretty badly last night. I scooped her up off the street corner, and with the help of Clifford Danley and Michele from the Phoenix Rescue Mission, Barbara is now safe. Barbara is now among beautiful, positive and inspirational women and staff at Phoenix Rescue Mission's Changing Lives Center for women and children. Tears flowed down my face and I hugged Barbara, saying goodbye to her.

A life was saved today and I believe that Barbara is an Angel among us, that by telling her story, she will change and save the lives of countless women.

 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the Phoenix Rescue Mission, I will be forever grateful for all that you do for countless men and women like Barbara.

From a Long-Time Volunteer,

Meredith

 

Light in the Valley of Darkness

Bud has been living on the streets for more than a year and a half. Well, “living” is being generous – more like surviving. As he discusses what his experiences have been like, he lifts the edge of his hoodie to show a spot on his neck where he was stabbed a few months back during an altercation with another homeless man.

We learn he’s survived being hit by a car while riding his bike, countless other fights and even attempted robberies. Bud doesn’t scare easily.

But even he admits the HEAT has got him worried – isolation offers him protection from most threats on the streets, but it’s no good against the heat. If he goes down alone, the chances of him getting back up are close to zero.

That’s why it is so important that we reach as many like Bud as we can as early as we can this summer, to give them the chance to find a way off the streets before they find themselves hospitalized – or worse.

Thank you for helping us spread the word and save more lives this summer!

 

Sponsor a Mother at the Changing Lives Center

Thank you for your support to lift up the mothers at the Changing Lives Center.

Salla, a mother of three at the Changing Lives Center says, "I would have never gone anywhere to get the help I needed if I couldn't have brought my children with me. Not only is the Changing Lives Center a place that I can receive the help and care I need, but a place my children get the best care possible."

Payton and Hudson

"Before coming to the Phoenix Rescue Mission I was addicted, homeless, and in and out of prison. My son saved me. He has taught me so much. I am so grateful to be able to have my son here with me as I go through this program. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else with my son."

"I'm not the only one getting better, my children are too. I drug them through my addiction with me. So they need this support and love as well. With them being here, my hope is that they can help, and be an example to their brothers and sisters who aren't here with us.

Joanna and Nehemiah

Michelle and Kennedy

"I have my nine-year-old daughter with me, and we are very happy where we live, very content, very safe. I have more hope for the future then I've ever had in my life. I've never felt this good about my life, and the future for my daughter. I'm very blessed."

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

 

Our Greatest Need – The UnMentionables


Here at the Phoenix Rescue Mission, hope begins with a meal. But dignity begins with a shower and a fresh set of clothes!

It's not something that immediately comes to mind, but the homeless men, women, and children we serve need new underwear, bras and socks just as much as they need nourishment and a safe place to lay their head.

Most of the clothing we give out is used and there is nothing wrong with that. But we think you’ll agree, things like underwear are best given new.

It’s hard to imagine what it feels like to live in the same set of clothes, day after day, week after week – especially undergarments. But our homeless certainly do. Together, we can give them a “fresh” new start!