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!

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.

Movement Mortgage Making an Impact

Retail home lender Movement Mortgage and its philanthropy arm, Movement Foundation, has donated more than 400,000 bottles of water and a $150,000 matching grant to support Phoenix Rescue Mission’s 5th Annual Code:Red Summer Heat Relief Campaign. The donation, which is one of the largest single contributions to the Code:Red campaign since it began in 2013, was presented to Phoenix Rescue Mission during a press conference at the Mission’s donation warehouse.

“Because of Movement Mortgage’s generous gift, our staff and volunteers can continue their heat relief efforts at a time when it’s needed most,” said Phoenix Rescue Mission spokesperson Nicole Pena. “As we continue to expand our Code:Red campaign and street outreach, we couldn’t ask for a better partner to help us protect our most vulnerable populations during these hot summer months.”

Immediately following the ceremony, Movement Mortgage volunteers joined the Mission’s street outreach team to deliver the water and other heat-relief items directly to those living on the streets.

“At Movement, we believe in a simple idea: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The intense heat in Arizona has left so many of our neighbors in life-threatening circumstances, and I am so proud of our teammates in Arizona and across the Western states that stepped up with such generosity to be difference makers,” Ignacio Metcalf, Movement Mortgage national sales director, said. “We are honored to work with the Phoenix Rescue Mission and the Movement Foundation to ensure these 400,000 bottles of water and the $150,000 matching grant will bring life, light and hope to our neighbors in greatest need.”

In addition to the donated funds and water, Movement Mortgage volunteers also assembled nearly 500 Summer Survival Kits, which included t-shirts, sunblock, granola bars, hats and other heat-relief items to be handed out to the homeless during the city-wide heat-relief campaign.

THANK YOU MOVEMENT MORTGAGE!

Women in recovery honored as first graduating class of culinary arts vocational training program

MEDIA ADVISORY

Humana Foundation to donate $3,000 to program at Phoenix Rescue Mission ceremony

WHO: Phoenix Rescue Mission and Human Foundation.

WHAT: Six residents of Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Changing Lives Center for Women & Children, a long-term recovery program for women struggling with addiction and/or abuse, will be honored as the first graduating class of a culinary arts vocational training program funded in part by the Humana Foundation. Humana will present a $3,000 check during the ceremony so the Mission can continue providing the 16-week program. The grant is part of Humana’s commitment to volunteerism.

WHY: The Changing Lives Center serves a targeted group of homeless women and children; many of whom have suffered domestic abuse, substance abuse and addiction. The culinary arts program is just one of the many ways the center helps these mothers transition to a healthy and independent lifestyle so they do not return to the streets.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 29

WHERE: Contact the media contacts below for location information.

VISUALS:      

  • The Humana Foundation and Phoenix Rescue Mission will honor the four women of the first graduating class.
  • Graduating class members may be available to speak on what the program means to them and their future independence.
  • The Humana Foundation will present a $3,000 check to the Phoenix Rescue Mission.
  • Spokespersons from the Humana Foundation and Phoenix Rescue Mission will be available for interviews.

Phoenix Rescue Mission provides Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger and homelessness. The non-profit Mission, which has been operating since 1952, is asking the public for support of its many programs designed to save lives, including Hope Coach Street Outreach, Homeless Emergency Services, Men’s Addiction Recovery Program and the new Changing Lives Center for Women and Children.

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Media Contacts:

Josh Skalniak, Fingerpaint, office: (480) 368-7999; cell: (480)352-2050, jskalniak@fingerpaintmarketing.com

Nicole Peña, Phoenix Rescue Mission, office: (602) 346-3342; cell: (602) 516-8576 (Onsite Contact) npena@phoenixrescuemission.org

 

Click here to download the Press Release PDF.

Phoenix Rescue Mission helps 600 disadvantaged students head back-to-school

MEDIA ADVISORY

Students in grades K-12 will receive fully-stocked backpacks, uniform vouchers and sports physicals during Saturday, July 25 event

WHO: Phoenix Rescue Mission and 600 students in grades K-12.

WHAT: Homeless and poor students from various Title I District schools throughout the Valley will receive backpacks, uniforms, back-to-school supplies and equipment, and sports physicals.

WHY: Every year Phoenix Rescue Mission hosts its back-to-school event so children of homeless and poor families have the same opportunity for success as every other student. If not for Phoenix Rescue Mission, it’s donors and volunteers, many of these children would begin the school year without the necessary tools to thrive. This not only sets them back academically but also decreases their self-esteem and overall well-being, decreasing their chances for future success.

WHEN: Saturday, July 25, from 9 – 11 a.m.

WHERE: Contact Nicole Peña or Josh Skalniak for location details (contact info below)

VISUALS:      

  • More than 500 elementary and middle school students will receive backpacks filled with school supplies and school uniforms.
  • 100 high school students will receive free sports physicals.
  • Phoenix Rescue Mission will be signing up poor and homeless families to receive food boxes, as well as offering case management and vocational development services.
  • A Phoenix Rescue Mission spokesperson will be on hand to talk about the Mission and its work to ensure underprivileged children in the community are not forgotten.
  • Disadvantaged families may be available to talk about what it means to them that the community is stepping up to help the underprivileged.

Phoenix Rescue Mission provides Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger and homelessness. The non-profit Mission, which has been operating since 1952, is asking the public for support of its many programs designed to save lives, including Hope Coach Street Outreach, Homeless Emergency Services, Men’s Addiction Recovery Program and the new Changing Lives Center for Women and Children.

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Media Contacts:

Josh Skalniak, Fingerpaint, office: (480) 368-7999; cell: (480)352-2050, jskalniak@fingerpaintmarketing.com

Nicole Peña, Phoenix Rescue Mission, office: (602) 346-3342; cell: (602) 516-8576 (On-Site), npena@phoenixrescuemission.org

 

Click here to download the Press Release PDF.