North Central News

Help the homeless, elderly this summer

Scorching temperatures are a health hazard to the Valley’s homeless and elderly shut-ins, and one nonprofit organization is mobilizing to prevent heat-related deaths and illnesses among this vulnerable, growing population.

Volunteers with Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Hope Coach hand out heat-relief items, including bottled water, to members of the homeless community during the summertime (photo by Cliff Danley).

Volunteers with Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Hope Coach hand out heat-relief items, including bottled water, to members of the homeless community during the summertime (photo by Cliff Danley).

Phoenix Rescue Mission is partnering with several municipalities and businesses to launch its fourth-annual “Code Red: Summer Heat Relief Campaign,” which runs through Aug. 31. While the Mission has conducted annual summer water drives for several years, “Code Red” elevates the urgency of the call to action with a public plea for water, white socks, toiletries, cool snack packs, hats, light-colored T-shirts, sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm, chilly neck coolers and more.

The latest data shows that annual heat-related deaths in Maricopa County are down since the campaign started in 2012.

Public drop-off sites for water, socks, sunscreen, hats, toiletries and other heat relief items are located throughout the Valley. For a complete list of drop-off locations, visit www.phoenixrescuemission.org/codered/locations or call 602-346-3330.

In addition, all Phoenix fire stations will serve as drop-off locations for donations of bottled water as part of Central Arizona Shelter Services’ annual Heat Relief Campaign. Water donations also can be made at the Vista Colina Emergency Family Shelter at 1050 W. Mountain View Road.

The city of Phoenix Human Services Department also is participating in a summer Heat Relief campaign to assist the homeless. Items being collected include unopened water bottles, sunscreen, new underwear, white socks, white T-shirts, insect repellent and prepackaged snack items. Donations can be dropped off at the Sunnyslope Family Services Center, 914 W. Hatcher Road (602-495-5229), between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, visit www.HeatReliefAZ.org.

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