Phoenix summers are hot and can be inhospitable to anyone living in the Valley, but particularly for people who sleep on the street. In 2017, 35 percent of 132 recorded heat-related deaths were individuals experiencing homelessness.
To combat the challenge, the Human Services Campus (HSC) and on-campus partners St. Joseph The Worker, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Circle the City, Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS), the Homeless I.D. Project, Brighter Way Institute, A New Leaf, Elaine Health Navigation and Transportation for the Homeless and the Arizona Department of Economic Security have launched a Weather Relief Drive to collect cases of bottled water and other necessary weather-related and hygiene items, including dog shoes.
HSC, a 501c3 nonprofit agency, owns and operates a 13-acre campus at 12thAvenue and Madison that is home to 20 nonprofit organizations providing services and resources to people experiencing homelessness.
In addition to cases of bottled water, which can be scheduled for drop-off by calling (602) 282-0849 or by emailing email@example.com, other items being collected for the summer include:
• Summer Kits (sunscreen, hats, visors, sunglasses, Chapstick, aloe burn gel, reusable water bottles)
• White flat hotel-grade sheets (twin size preferred) and non-perishable snacks like granola bars, trail mix or oatmeal.
I spoke with Human Services Campus Development Director Steve Davis for our Valley Views program. Take a few minutes to learn more about the amazing work they are doing!
Items needed all year long include:
• Basic hygiene kits (deodorant, soap, body wash, wash cloth)
• Dental hygiene kids (toothbrush, travel-size toothpaste, floss, alcohol-free mouthwash)
• Hair care kits (comb, brush, travel-size shampoo and conditioner)
• Cold and flu prevention kits (travel-size alcohol-free hand sanitizer, pocket-size tissues, non-medicated cough drops
• Women’s and men’s cosmetic kits (travel-size lotion, razor, shave cream, Chapstick, Q-tips)
• First-Aid kits
• Nail Care kits (nail clippers and files, tweezers, toenail clippers)
• Undergarment kits (men’s and women’s underwear, disposable undergarments, sports bras, sleeveless men’s undershirts in various sizes)
• Shoes and socks (new or gently used adult gym shoes and new white socks)
• Pet items (doggie treats, leashes, collars, flea/tick collars, harnesses, dog and cat food, dog shoes, pet toys, water bowls)
• Backpack kits (backpacks, lanyards, ID badge holders, wallets
• Feminine hygiene kits (tampons, panty-liners, flushable wipes).
As part of the effort, Sundt Construction, Inc., in collaboration with St. Joseph the Worker, is conducting a water drive with a goal to deliver up to 500,000 bottles of water to the campus on Friday, May 17.