Phoenix, AZ -- The economy has hit the homeless and near-homeless in Phoenix hard. More people are coming to Phoenix Rescue Mission everyday, and more families are being impacted. At the same time, the Mission is facing a critical drop of financial resources as donors reduce their giving because of financial strain.
The Christian community celebrates resurrection and new life each Spring. Phoenix Rescue Mission on Easter Sunday hopes to lift hearts of the poor and homeless in the Valley of the Sun with a hearty meal and gift of love.
The Easter meal can be an opportunity for the homeless to seek renewal. And Phoenix Rescue Mission provides a chance for everyone to participate in the festivities. If trends continue, the Phoenix Rescue Mission will serve 600 homeless men, women and children this Sunday. Volunteers will be serving heaping helpings of ham, eggs, bacon, pastries, hash browns and fruit -- not to mention a friendly smile.
"Meals can be the entry point for the homeless to find other services we offer that can help them get off the streets permanently," said Jerry Sandvig, President and CEO, Phoenix Rescue Mission. "Many of our guests are newly homeless -- they were not homeless a year ago, but job loss, foreclosures and other economic impacts have resulted in their seeking our services. We know many are looking from a program based on Christian values. In though times we want to provide our guests with a loving, home-like atmosphere."
Founded in 1952, Phoenix Rescue Mission provides food, shelter, chapel and other services to the homeless and working poor people of metropolitan Phoenix. Hundreds of hot meals are served daily. Showers and clean clothing are offered to anyone in need. 150 beds provide shelter for men nightly. A 12-month, spiritually based, addiction recovery program is available for up to 30 men at one time.
In July, the Phoenix Rescue Mission will expand its addiction recovery services to women and women with children at our new Changing Lives Center for women and children. It was through daily meals that Mission staff noticed a dramatic increase in the numbers of women with children coming to eat in our dining hall and returning to the streets. The Mission is thrilled to dedicate the Center next month and begin accepting families in July.
"We serve meals every day," said Jerry. "We couldn't do all we do without the help of our gracious volunteers and generous donors. Financially it is a challenging time for us. We see do many who need help, and we want to give them our best."