Phoenix Rescue Mission Sets Record for Street Rescues

Phoenix Rescue Mission Sets Record for Street Rescues In May & June 2021

Street Outreach team rescues 120 men, women and children from homelessness since launch of Code:Red in May

PHOENIX (July 27, 2021) – As the Valley reaches record-breaking temperatures, Phoenix Rescue Mission is also breaking records. The Mission’s Street Outreach Team rescued a monumental 120 men, women and children off the streets since launching its Code:Red Summer Heat Relief effort in May.

“Our Street Outreach teams have been working tirelessly to find and rescue people from the hot sun and, frankly, the streets in general,” Nathan Smith, Chief Program Officer, said. “We knew they were making an impact, but it wasn’t until the numbers came in that we were truly blown away. In 2020, our average was 27 each month, but we broke our all-time record in May with 60 rescues, which is amazing. But then we hit that number again in June, and that’s when we realized our success was not a fluke."

"Because of the passion and care our teams bring to the streets, the partnerships we are building in cities around the Valley, and the strong support of the community, it makes sense that we’re making incredible progress."

Among the 120 rescues this summer was a single mother and her five children who found themselves in dire straits when a move to Phoenix from Indianapolis didn’t go as planned. Down to her last few dollars, the mother had only one option—to use her car for shelter, a deadly proposition in the Valley of the Sun. But thanks to the Mission’s Street Outreach Team, the mother and her children were rescued before they spent a single night on the streets. After helping the mother re-connect with family back home, the team provided bus tickets for them to make it home safely.

That mother’s story is just one of many rescues that could not have been possible without the recent expansion of the Mission’s Street Outreach Team, which now boasts a fleet vehicles capable of going where the need is at, searching for and rescuing vulnerable individuals and families like this mother and her children.

This coordinated effort is largely possible because of several public-private partnerships between Phoenix Rescue Mission and local municipalities, including Glendale, Goodyear, Peoria, Avondale, Scottsdale and Surprise. Each municipality works closely with the Mission’s Street Outreach Team to identify those in need and connect them with the appropriate solutions to help them re-enter society and reach their potential. Whether addiction recovery, mental health support, vocational development, food assistance or housing, the Street Outreach vans are available to pick up the individuals and transport them to either Phoenix Rescue Mission or an appropriate organization or destination that will serve the needs of that person.

The expansion of the Mission’s Street Outreach Team is the latest example of the nonprofit’s continued goal of growing and meeting the needs of those it serves by focusing on community impact in a fiscally responsible way.

“For decades, we have been providing Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger, homelessness, addiction, and trauma,” Nathan Smith said. “Our staff and volunteers are equipped with proven, time-tested programming to help those within our residential recovery programs undo lifelong strongholds that may be at the root of their suffering and find their purpose in life.”

More information about the Code:Red Summer Heat Relief initiative can be found here. Food, water, and all other heat-relief donations can be dropped off at the Mission’s Donation Warehouse, located at 3440 W. Lewis Ave., Building A, Suite G, in Phoenix.  The Mission is also in need of volunteers to help distribute vital, nutritious food to families in need at its Hope for Hunger Food Bank in Glendale.

For more information on what to donate or to start a Code:Red drive, please contact Catie Hammann at gikhelp@phxmission.org or 602-346-3347.

 

Phoenix Rescue Mission:

Phoenix Rescue Mission provides Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger, homelessness, addiction, and trauma. The nonprofit Mission, which has been operating since 1952, is asking the public for support of its many programs designed to transform lives, including Hope for Hunger Food Bank, Hope Coach Street Outreach, Temporary Shelter Programs, Men’s Addiction Recovery Program and the Changing Lives Center for Women and Children.

 

Media Contacts:

Ryan Brown, Phoenix Rescue Mission, cell: (302) 359-6780, rbrown@phxmission.org

Josh Skalniak, Lambert & Co., cell: (480) 352-2050, jskalniak@lambert.com

2021 Code:Red Summer Heat Relief Effort

2021 Code:Red Heat Relief Effort Launches May 10

Phoenix Rescue Mission to partner with public to prevent heat-related and COVID-related deaths and illnesses among the homeless and at-risk

PHOENIX (April 30, 2021) – Phoenix Rescue Mission is launching its 9th annual, city-wide Code:Red Summer Heat Relief Campaign to ensure the Valley’s homeless population and at-risk individuals do not fall victim to the hot summer months ahead.

Beginning May 10, through August 31, the large-scale heat relief initiative and water drive is raising the level of need for this year’s campaign, due to the continuing risks of COVID-19. In addition to water and other heat relief items, the Mission is asking the public to help support the campaign with monetary donations and non-perishable food drives. Monetary donations, which will be essential to meet the increased need during the difficult months ahead, will be matched up to $150,000 – made possible by a grant from several friends of the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

The Mission also launched a system for individuals and companies to easily set up digital fundraising drives to make socially distanced collections even simpler.

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of Code:Red, the need for public support could never be higher,” Phoenix Rescue Mission CEO Ken Brissa said. “In addition to battling triple-digit temperatures, the number of homeless men and women in our community has continued to climb while the pandemic limits access to many resources and services.”

Several municipalities, including Goodyear, Peoria, Avondale, Scottsdale, Surprise, and Glendale, have joined the effort and will work with the Mission’s Street Outreach staff as they comb Valley streets in a small fleet of Hope Coach vehicles providing water, toiletries, and case management services to those in need. The Mission’s outreach teams will be following the CDC’s COVID-19 safety protocols while providing personalized care that removes the barriers that keep people stuck in a cycle of homelessness.

“Anyone can help us save lives this summer, no matter if you’re an individual who wants to make a small donation online, a small business owner who’d like to start a food or water drive, or if you just want to drop off a case of water,” Brissa said. “It’s important to note that we’re not just handing out water and making people feel better. We’re building relationships with those in need and helping to remove the barriers to get them off the streets for good.”

More information about the Code:Red initiative can be found here. Food, water, and all other heat-relief donations can be dropped off at the Mission’s Donation Warehouse, located at 3440 W. Lewis Ave., Building A, Suite G, in Phoenix.  The Mission is also in need of volunteers to help distribute vital, nutritious food to families in need at its Hope for Hunger Food Bank in Glendale.

For more information on what to donate or to start a Code:Red drive, please contact Catie Hammann at  gikhelp@phxmission.org or 602-346-3347.

 

Phoenix Rescue Mission:

Phoenix Rescue Mission is a leading provider of Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger, homelessness, addiction, and trauma. The nonprofit Mission, which has been operating since 1952, is asking the public for support of its many programs designed to transform lives, including Hope for Hunger Food Bank, Hope Coach Street Outreach, Temporary Shelter Programs, Men’s Addiction Recovery Programs, and the Changing Lives Center for Women and Children.

 

Media Contacts:

Ryan Brown, Phoenix Rescue Mission, office: (602) 346-3352; cell: (302) 359-6780, rbrown@phxmission.org

Josh Skalniak, Lambert & Co., cell: (480) 352-2050 jskalniak@lambert.com

“Scottsdale Works” program sees immediate success

The city of Scottsdale and Phoenix Rescue Mission are celebrating a successful first month of Scottsdale Works – Brick by Brick, an integrated workforce development program that aims to reduce homelessness in Scottsdale and put the city’s homeless to work.

“This program has been a blessing to both the participants and the community because people are getting connected to resources to end their homelessness,” said Phoenix Rescue Mission Street Outreach Supervisor Gabe Priddy.

One individual, Jason Smith, recently received keys to his first home since his life on the streets began in the mid-1990s.

Mr. Smith found work with Scottsdale’s program, which instilled in him a sense of worth and gave him hope that he could end his cycle of homelessness after all.

Read the news article on YourValley.net

Watch the news video from Fox10Phoenix.com

Phoenix Rescue Mission Launches “Fed Up! Hungry for Change” Holiday Campaign

Three-month effort to help families in poverty and those affected by COVID-19

 PHOENIX (Sept. 29, 2020) – Arizona has the 3rd highest poverty rate among the nation’s 25 largest metro areas, with one in five children suffering from hunger, according to statistics measured prior to the pandemic. In response, Phoenix Rescue Mission is launching its “Fed Up! Hungry for Change” holiday campaign, Thursday, Oct. 1.

The campaign, which runs through Dec. 31, kicks off with a Mobile Food Pantry event on October 1 in Phoenix. The Mobile Food Pantry is open to the public and designed to improve food accessibility across the Valley, especially in impoverished areas where families may not have transportation to travel to get the help they need. Those who stop by the event, located at 4013 W. Maricopa Street, will be provided food assistance and have the opportunity to connect with services designed to lift them out of poverty.

Phoenix Rescue Mission created the Fed Up! campaign as a response to the way in which society has dealt with hunger for too long – primarily by treating the symptoms of hunger without addressing the root causes, which stem from a lack of vocational development, education, counseling, mental health services and other resources.

“This is Phoenix Rescue Mission’s shout to the community that we are not satisfied with the status quo and we’re shedding a light on the root causes of hunger,” Phoenix Rescue Mission CEO Ken Brissa said.

Public support for this effort is needed now more than ever, due to the recent pandemic and its effects on the economy. While the hunger crisis in Phoenix has existed long before COVID-19, the problem has since become more prevalent because of the thousands of families that have lost jobs, been furloughed, or have otherwise seen their income dry up with no warning over the past few months.

The Fed Up! campaign makes it easy for the public to help stop hunger by providing a means in which anyone can help, either through a small donation online or by bringing food and other needed items directly to Phoenix Rescue Mission. The campaign will feature several events, including its Frozen Turkey Saturday on Nov. 14 and Food Box Delivery Day on Nov.  21, aimed not only at feeding those suffering from hunger during the holiday season, but also connecting them with resources to end their cycle of poverty.

“The holidays can be difficult for struggling families, especially as others across the Valley prepare their celebratory feasts and purchase gifts,” Brissa said.

“Imagine being a parent and having to tell your child that there won’t be any gifts this year – now imagine there won’t be any food either. We can do something to prevent that.”

The public is encouraged to get involved with the Fed Up! campaign this holiday season, either by volunteering time, donating food and other items, or make a monetary donation. Donations made to the Fed Up! campaign will support the thousands of families served each month by Phoenix Rescue Mission’s various programs, including its Hope for Hunger Food Bank, Mobile Food Pantries, Hope Coach Street Outreach services, and many others designed to lift families out of hard times and end their cycle of poverty.

“We need the Valley to come together in support of our hurting neighbors this holiday season, while helping us advance long-term solutions for ending hunger once and for all in our communities,” Brissa said.

“This starts with equipping our community members with access to addiction recovery services, vocational development, job opportunities, counseling, case management, and many other programs.”


This year’s public events include:

Thursday, Oct. 1: Mobile Pantry

Created to decrease food insecurity and improve food accessibility across the Valley, Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Mobile Pantry initiative will visit the Murphy neighborhood, southwest of downtown, to connect with disadvantaged families, provide them with nutritious meals, and help them access the resources to end their cycle of poverty. The public is encouraged to stop by the event at Ministerio Un Ejercito Para Cristo (4013 W. Maricopa Street, Phoenix, AZ 85009) from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., or as long as supplies last. Phoenix Rescue Mission will be following CDC guidelines and asks visitors to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Every 3rd Tuesday: Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Dec. 15: Free Community Markets

This brand-new venture came about in response to the growing need of those who are not only struggling to make ends meet, but also located in regions where support is limited; and they do not have the means to travel for help. Each Free Community Market will provide food and necessities that are donated from sources, including St. Mary’s Food Bank and the community as a whole. Food bags and hygiene items will be given to families while supplies last. The public is encouraged to stop by from 9-11 a.m. at First New Life Church (1902 W. Roeser Road, Phoenix 85041). There is no cost to participate. ID is required.

For questions, please contact Rachel Stacke at (602)-346-3383 or rstacke@phxmission.org

Saturday, Nov. 14: Frozen Turkey Saturday

Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Frozen Turkey Saturday aims to collect more than 2,000 turkeys, which will be delivered directly to families in need during the Mission’s Thanksgiving Meal Distribution Day and at their Hope for Hunger Food Bank. The public is encouraged to stop by the drive-thru event at the Mission’s Hope for Hunger Food Bank (5605 N. 55th Avenue, Glendale, AZ 85301) and bring a frozen turkey, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Please contact Catie Hammann at (602) 346-3347 or gikhelp@phxmission.org if you would like to start a non-perishable foods or turkey drive.

Saturday, Nov. 21: Public Thanksgiving Meal Distribution Day

Because Phoenix Rescue Mission cannot delivery Thanksgiving meals directly as in the past, the Mission will fulfill its goal of serving 400 families this year by working with volunteers to operate a drive-thru event at Sullivan Elementary School (2 N 31st Ave., Phoenix 85009) to distribute turkeys and sides, food bags, and hygiene kits. There is no registration required and first come are first served from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or as long as supplies last. To volunteer at this event, please sign up at prm.volunteerhub.com.

Saturday, Dec. 12: Winter Wonderland Community Event (guests by pre-registration only)

The Mission is partnering with local businesses, churches, and individuals to collect new, unwrapped toys, small household items, and personal gifts. The Mission will then provide the gifts to families in need via its annual Winter Wonderland event. This year, Phoenix Rescue Mission hopes to serve as many as 400 children during the event, which will also be conducted in drive-thru fashion. Families will be pre-registered through local schools our Community Market outreach events. Families will also receive food assistance and toiletries to supply them through the Christmas season. To volunteer at this event, please sign up at prm.volunteerhub.com.

Please contact Catie Hammann at (602) 346-3347 or gikhelp@phxmission.org if you would like to hold a gift or food drive.

 

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Phoenix Rescue Mission

Phoenix Rescue Mission is a leading provider of Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger, homelessness, addiction, and trauma. The nonprofit Mission, which has been operating since 1952, is asking the public for support of its many programs designed to transform lives, including Hope for Hunger Food Bank, Hope Coach Street Outreach, Temporary Shelter Programs, Men’s Addiction Recovery Program, and the Changing Lives Center for Women and Children.

Media Contacts:

Ryan Brown, Phoenix Rescue Mission, cell: (302) 359-6780, rbrown@phxmission.org

Josh Skalniak, Lambert & Co., cell: (480) 352-2050, jskalniak@lambert.com

 

 

 

Meet the Staff: Nathan Smith, Our CPO

Ever wonder what fuels the fire in the hearts of our staff for the homeless and hurting? Starting this month, we’ll be introducing you to the outstanding men and women who work tirelessly to see lives transformed – to get a peek into what brought them to the Mission and what keeps them going.

Ask anyone on campus and they’ll tell you: Nathan Smith has a huge heart for the homeless. But it didn’t start out that way.

“I wasn’t necessarily callous to helping people with great needs,” Nathan remembers. “I just never paid any attention to that as a kid.” It wasn’t until his first missions trip to India that his life, and his heart, changed forever. Nathan not only found his calling while he was in India, he found his wife – who was serving in the medical clinics of the same missions’ field.

“Years later, I was having trouble getting out to India to continue my mission work because I was building a family here. That’s when I was challenged by my grandmother-in-law to do more work locally. I started working with the homeless, which blossomed into a church ministry. From there, I met Jay Cory (former President and CEO of Phoenix Rescue Mission) who got me started at an entry-level position at the Mission.”

At the Mission, Nathan flourished. In just six short years, he’s risen through the ranks from Project Coordinator to Project Manager to Director of Community Engagement. During that time, he was instrumental in the expansion of the Mission’s reach into regions like Glendale, where he and his team saved the city’s largest food bank from closing for good.

Nathan’s team reopened Hope For Hunger Food Bank and increased the output of the previous ownership by more than 50% – serving more than 160 families per day under his watch. He was also a key player in the formation of Glendale Works, an integrated workforce development program aimed at reducing homelessness in Glendale by providing homeless individuals day-work cleaning city property.

In May, he accepted the position of Chief Program Officer!

God has put me in these different spots to expose me to what it means to be a leader, what it means to work with people who are really, really down and out and it’s prepared me to take that on at a higher administrative level. I couldn’t be more thankful for the path He put me on to get here.

Congratulations on your promotion, Nathan. We can’t wait to see how God uses you next!