Phoenix Rescue Mission: Serving Up Hope & Transforming Lives


PHCRescueMissionBy Kathryn M. Miller – Arizona ranks among the worst states in the nation for homelessness, with nearly 18,000 homeless men, women and children in Maricopa County alone. It’s a serious problem year-round, made worse as winter weather sets in.

“With 40 percent of our homeless population in Maricopa County being women and kids in families, we desperately need to get socks, gloves, blankets and coats to those families on the streets,” says Nicole Pena, director of public relations at Phoenix Rescue Mission.

With filling that need in mind, Phoenix Rescue Mission launched its “Feeding Phoenix: More than a Meal” campaign for the third straight year in October. The campaign, which runs through December 31, includes several holiday events aimed at collecting food, water, blankets, sleeping bags and other items for the homeless during the holidays.

“The holidays are extremely tough on those who are cold, hungry and living on the streets,” says Jay Cory, Phoenix Rescue Mission president and CEO. “Many homeless also are estranged from their families either due to an addiction or an illness, and the holidays put them at greater risk of depression and increased abuse of alcohol and drugs. Sometimes all it takes is just one hot meal to give them the hope they need to get through these tough times.”

Phoenix Rescue Mission serves up that hope on a daily basis, year-round.

“We serve three meals a day, seven days a week, including Christmas Day, which includes holiday food favorites for the homeless, depending on what’s available,” says Pena. “Actually, during the holidays we need to be able to serve 907 meals a day, just to keep up with the demand, so we always need volunteers to help serve our meals.”

In addition, to help raise holiday spirits, on Saturday, December 19, the Mission will hold its Winter Wonderland event and it encourages the public to get involved.

“We will offer a ‘shopping’ area where homeless and poor moms and dads can come and ‘shop’ for their children for Christmas,” says Pena. “The children will also get to ‘shop’ and wrap presents for their parents. The Mission is currently collecting gifts for children and parents.”

The Mission’s vision of a “community mobilized to transform lives and end hunger and homelessness” is a year-round effort. Whether it is providing long-term addiction recovery for men, or long-term, comprehensive services to women and children; whether helping prepare and serve meals, or math tutoring or sharing one’s knowledge through job readiness and life skills programs; or perhaps delivering food, water, toiletries and other essentials every day through the Hope Coach – the Mission is serving a call, and the community is called upon to lend their support.

Learn more at www.phoenixrescuemission.org, or call 602.233.3000. |CST

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