Press Release

Nearly 200 Individuals Experiencing Homelessness Rescued Through Heat Relief Efforts This Summer

Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Code:Red Initiative Helped Protect Men and Women on the Streets From Triple-Digit Temperatures

PHOENIX – This summer a total of 185 men and women were rescued from their situation on the streets and were placed in housing or a suitable program thanks to the community effort led by Phoenix Rescue Mission, the Christ-centered nonprofit providing transformative resources and solutions to those in need throughout Maricopa County. During its 10th annual Code:Red Summer Heat Relief Campaign from May 1 to August 31, the Mission distributed 687,194 water bottles to those in need. Hundreds of churches, businesses, and community members donated cases of water and critical funding and supplies to make the effort possible.

According to Maricopa County, at least 130 individuals experiencing homelessness died from heat-related causes in 2021, with the number of fatalities trending even higher in 2022. Throughout the year, Phoenix Rescue Mission works to protect Arizona’s citizens facing homelessness, hunger, addiction and trauma, but puts extra focus on homeless outreach efforts during the dangerous summertime heat.

In addition to water bottles, the Mission’s “Hope Coach” Street Outreach vehicles drove more than 55,000 miles this summer to engage individuals experiencing homelessness 9,471 times and distribute 6,440 “Hope Totes,” or bags filled with essentials like sunscreen, socks, hygiene products and more.

Thanks to this community effort, a total of 185 men and women were rescued from their situation on the streets and were placed in housing or a suitable program, such as the Mission’s residential recovery centers.

“Helping men, women and families living on the streets survive the deadly summer heat in Arizona is always our top priority when the season comes around,” said Phoenix Rescue Mission CEO Ken Brissa. “We’re thrilled to say we were able to help so many of our neighbors stay safe and get access to resources they need to help break their cycles of homelessness. And there is still much more work to do. We will continue to provide life-saving services to the Valley’s most vulnerable populations throughout the year.”

Several municipalities, including Glendale, Phoenix, Peoria, Avondale, Scottsdale, El Mirage, Surprise and Goodyear created partnerships with the Mission to bring relief to their neighborhoods through the campaign.