The hotter it gets, the more urgent it becomes to reach the least, the last, and the lost, on the streets of Phoenix. We’re in a race against time and temperature. The good news is, we’re ramping up our Hope Coach program to reach even more lives.
Recovery graduate Rich Heitz, who operates the newest Hope Coach, along with his partner and fellow recovery graduate, Brently Kiesling, says they’re doing much more than that.
“We help them with water and hygiene, but we also help people get their IDs, Social Security cards, birth certificates, and of course, take advantage of one or more of our programs. We also do something we call diversion. If any of the homeless we meet have family in another state who are willing to let them live there and help them find employment, we’ll help them to get back to them.”
As part of Code:Red, each Hope Coach hits the road for eight or more hours a day, searching different parts of the valley for opportunities for transformation. This week, it changed the life of a stranded family.
“We met a mom and her three kids who drove down from Vegas looking for work. Their car broke down two months ago. She was pregnant at the time and had premature twins (girls) 10 days later, who are still at the hospital. They’ve been living out of that car ever since. Instead of getting DCS [Department of Child Safety] involved, we were able to bring them all to the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Changing Lives Center. Now mom’s safe, the kids are safe; it was a good day.”
This is the kind of rescue you make possible every day with your support of the Phoenix Rescue Mission. It’s hard to imagine how stories like these would end without friends like you!
“It’s really cool,” says Rich. “Every day is different… I couldn’t ask for a better job. I was homeless myself for a lot of years, drug-addicted, needle-junkie; I have scars that’ll never go away. It gives me a lot of empathy when it comes to the homeless and addicted. I never wake up and say, ‘man, I’ve got to go back to work today.’ Every day is exciting! Every day is an adventure.”