“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!

Hunger Action Month

“Missing a meal” is not the latest diet craze, but the definition of “food Insecurity.” Right here in Arizona one in 7 families are considered food insecure like Andrea, who needed her car to get to her job.

“This month my car broke and the only way to pay for it was to take the money from my food budget. I would skip dinner to make sure my kids had something at night,” said Andrea. “Knowing there was a week until my next paycheck was when I found the food bank and was provided a cart full of groceries.”

“I was so thankful to find so many people who care. It meant a lot to my family.”

You can help neighbors like Andrea put nutritious food on her table this month.

Here are some ideas for YOU to take action this month!

September is Hunger Action Month. Here are a few ways YOU can take action, and make an impact in your community!

Hold a Canned Food Drive

Hold a canned food drive at your church, office or in your neighborhood. Contact Catie to arrange your drive, and find out our greatest needs at chammann@phoenixrescuemission.org or 602-346-3347

#ShareYourPlate

Use the #ShareYourPlate hashtag on social media to let your friends and family know how you are helping food insecure families this month. Don't forget to check Phoenix Rescue Mission on Facebook and @phxmission on Twitter and Instagram to see our video highlights of those you are helping.

Feed a Family

Feed a family in our care. Hope begins with a meal, just a $1.92 provides a nutritious meal in our dining hall. Click HERE to donate.

Volunteer at Hope for Hunger Food Bank

Volunteer to pack food boxes at Hope for Hunger Food Bank. Sign up as a volunteer on VolunteerHub or click HERE to see the available shifts.

Become a Fill-A-Bag Partner

Join the Mission and help us support low-income families in our neighborhoods with bags of groceries and basic goods. To learn more about the Fill-A-Bag Program, click HERE.

Buy Cookies

You heard right. Buy  cookies. Support the Mission's Cookie Enterprise Vocational Program, where all proceeds go back into the program to support the very women baking up delicious cookies, made from scratch, just for you! Learn more at giftcookies.com

Volunteer Serving in our Kitchen

Serve at our Community Market

Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month, the Mission serves our low-income families. We open our campus and provide food bags, a chance to "shop" for clothes, shoes and basic household items, provide counseling and prayer, and plenty of water to get them by. See what happens at our market below.

Thank you for taking action to end hunger in our community!

Where are they now?

Tommy - From a bruiser to a brother in Christ

You might remember Tommy Smith. He spent 23 years in prison for attempted murder. While on the inside, he took orders as a prison “hit man.” Then in 2016, his life took a complete 180°. He became a graduate of our recovery program and, today, despite his toughguy appearance, Tom is one of the most kind, helpful and compassionate people you’ll ever meet.

But where is he now?

Even after his graduation, Tommy decided to continue to stay plugged into Phoenix Rescue Mission. He had a passion for learning, volunteering, and ministering to others through our numerous programs and outreaches. In fact, he’s become such an asset, that just 6 months ago, we hired him full-time – to help with our Code:Red outreach program. If you had water donations picked up this summer, you’ve probably had the pleasure of meeting him!

From a bruiser to a brother in Christ, Tommy has come full circle! Thank you for the support that produces real, lasting transformation in the men, women and children we serve!