300+ People Experiencing Homelessness Rescued Through Heat Relief Efforts This Summer
By Claire Natale -
Friday Sep 22, 2023
This summer, a total of 303 men and women were rescued from the streets and were placed in housing or a suitable program thanks to a community effort led by Phoenix Rescue Mission, the Christ-centered nonprofit providing transformative resources and solutions to those in need throughout Maricopa County. This marks the most successful Code:Red campaign with the highest number of people helped in the organization’s history on the heels of Arizona’s hottest recorded summer in state history.
During its 11th annual Code:Red Summer Heat Relief Campaign, which ran from May 1 to Aug. 31, the Mission distributed 810,685 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 178 individuals experiencing homelessness died from heat-related causes in 2022, with the number of fatalities trending even higher in 2023. 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 70,000 miles to engage with 1,815 people experiencing homelessness and distributed 6,781 “Hope Totes,” or bags filled with essentials like sunscreen, socks, hygiene products and more.
“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. “It is a blessing to be 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.
About Phoenix Rescue Mission
Phoenix Rescue Mission provides Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions topeople facing hunger, homelessness, addiction, and trauma. The nonprofit Mission, which has been operating since 1952, is asking the public for support of its many programs designed to transform lives, including Hope for Hunger Food Bank, Hope Coach Street Outreach, Temporary Shelter Programs, Men’s Addiction Recovery Programs, and the Changing Lives Center for Women and Children.