How Your Support of Code Red is Saving Lives

Scripture teaches us that far more often than from signs and wonders, God’s direction comes in the form of a gentle whisper in our hearts. Cliff Danley, our Street Outreach Coordinator, is no stranger to nudges from the Holy Spirit. It’s put him in the right place at the right time on more occasions than he can remember. A few weeks ago, while patrolling the streets in the Hope Coach, handing out water, supplies and hope as a part of our Code Red initiative, a small, still voice suddenly altered his route. In an unorthodox move, Cliff decided to take the van off-road. Unbeknownst to Cliff, he was on his way to a divine appointment – one that would ultimately save a woman’s life.

Riding with Cliff that day was Geoff, a regular volunteer at Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Changing Lives Center and first time Hope Coach passenger. “Writing a check has always been easy, but I felt that God was asking me to do more than that,” admits Geoff, when asked why he decided to take a ride that day. “Actually going out and telling people, ‘Hey we care about you.’ Or asking them ‘How are you doing?’ or ‘How can we help you?’ that’s when you become a link in the chain that leads them to Jesus.” Riding shotgun on the Hope Coach, Geoff was about to become a link in a way he would never forget.

Cliff tells us, “I received a call from Glendale PD to check out a potential homeless situation by 47th Avenue. We didn’t find anything at first, but then I felt led to do a little off-roading. I drove past a broken brick fence into an open field. That’s when Geoff saw her.” Lying face down in the dirt, unmoving, was a young woman. “She had a pink top, otherwise she would have blended in,” says Geoff. “We couldn’t wake her up. Cliff said that in all his years he hadn’t yet come across a dead body… but that perhaps this was the day… Then we felt her breath, just barely. We called the Glendale PD.” That’s when that small still voice nudged both Cliff and Geoff one last time. “While we were waiting, we knelt and prayed that God would keep her safe.” God answered. Shortly after, police and EMTs arrived.

After a few tense moments of trying to rouse her, the paramedics hooked up the IVs and they were able to get her conscious again. Most people would find it hard not to panic in a life or death situation like this one. Geoff had a different experience. “I can’t explain it, but there was a calm that God was in control,” says Geoff. We learned that her name was Anna. She was too weak to stand so they rushed her off to the Emergency Room. “We were just a link in God’s chain,” says Geoff. “That’s what the Hope Coach does – it’s a link in His chain, getting people help who need it. It’s another confirmation for me that God is in control.” It was a combination of God’s direction, Cliff’s willing heart, Geoff’s sharp eyes and your support that gave this woman a second chance in the nick of time. But there are so many others out there, homeless, hurting, caught with nowhere to hide from the deadly summer heat. That’s why it is so important that we reach as many like Anna 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.

 

 

 

A Voice for the Homeless

PHOENIX — The congressional subcommittee hearing led by Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) heard from various advocates during a hearing in Phoenix.

One of those giving testimony was Jay Cory, the chief executive officer and president of the Phoenix Rescue Mission. Cory told the panel there needs to be comprehensive drug recovery programs.

“Comprehensive meaning case management services, academic assistance, English as a second language, vocational and development job placements, spiritual growth counseling,” Cory said.

Cory also testified the Phoenix Rescue Mission recently admitted more than 500 men for drug treatment. “The top disclosed drugs of choice for substance abuse were alcohol, stimulant cannabis and opiates,” Cory said. “Opiates were 38 percent.”

Cory said the crackdown on prescription opioids is working. However, Cory said drug users are turning to a cheaper alternative like heroin.

Drugs are also a contributing factor to an increase in the homeless population.

“There’s a large under served population of men, women and families facing poverty, homelessness and trauma in Arizona and especially in the Phoenix metropolitan area,” Cory said.

According to Cory, there are 1.1 million people living below the poverty line in Arizona.

 

 

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."

A Volunteer’s Passion for Change

Using the Past to Change the Future

When volunteer Vikki Calendar steps onto the Changing Lives Center campus, she has in her heart a hope for change, comfort to give, and a challenge to bring to the women we serve. She has a passion for planting seeds and watching them grow in the lives of
the women she mentors each week for the past year at the Changing Lives Center.
“You see the lives that are changed here,” says Vikki. “You see the depth of the darkness that this person was in, and you see what this whole facility has done to create change in the women’s hearts. Their lives have been turned around, completely.”

Our women in recovery are often emotionally and sometimes physically scarred by
their past. Many come to us straight out of abusive, dangerous home situations. Vikki is able to use the lessons learned in her own challenging background to empathize and give our women hope for the future. “When you see what they’ve been through, it’s humbling,” says Vikki. To see their circumstances and the pain they had to endure. It makes you realize what you have. It gives you appreciation and gratitude for what you have. It’s an awakening.”

Vikki initially connected into mentoring at Phoenix Rescue Mission to give back. “I had a mentor in my past who helped me a great deal, so I think it’s important to give back from what you’ve been given. To challenge them in learning God’s truth, and comfort them. When I came, I saw the fruit that they were bearing, and I thought, ‘Wow! I want to be a part of that. I want what I pour in to be fruitful.”

“Being homeless is the only home I have.”

Charles, now 74 years old, has been homeless for nearly a decade. He doesn’t remember exactly when he started living on the streets, but he does know he’s been living at a Glendale bus stop for eight years. It’s the only home he has. We met Charles during Phoenix Rescue Mission’s annual PIT (Point-In-Time) count, a day where we hit the streets to help the Department of Economic Security determine just how many men and women currently call our streets home. At the time, his most pressing need was simply a pair of gloves to keep his hands warm during the chilly winter nights here in Phoenix. He not only received those gloves, we were able to find him a real bed and hope for a better life off the streets.

Although Charles has been living a lifestyle few of us will ever experience first-hand, his worth and value in God’s eyes is no less significant. Thanks to your support, Phoenix Rescue Mission is working to give people like Charles an escape from the hidden and often forgotten parts of the Valley of the Sun, what we call the Valley of the Shadows. Our goal is to bring hope and freedom to these darkened areas to rescue lives like Charles’ – and making Phoenix a brighter place for us all. Thank you for your partnership that makes life-changing efforts like this possible.