heat stroke

Phoenix Rescue Mission is launching its ninth annual citywide Code:Red Summer Heat Relief campaign to ensure the Valley’s homeless population and at-risk individuals do not fall victim to the hot summer months ahead.

From May 10 to Aug. 31, the large-scale heat relief initiative and water drive is raising the level of need for this year’s campaign, due to the continuing risks of COVID-19. 

In addition to water and other heat relief items, the mission is asking the public to help support the campaign with monetary donations and nonperishable food drives. Monetary donations, which will be essential to meet the increased need during the difficult months ahead, will be matched up to $150,000 — made possible by a grant from several friends of the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

The mission also launched a system for individuals and companies to easily set up digital fundraising drives to make socially distanced collections even simpler.

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of Code:Red, the need for public support could never be higher,” said Phoenix Rescue Mission CEO Ken Brissa. “In addition to battling triple-digit temperatures, the number of homeless men and women in our community has continued to climb while the pandemic limits access to many resources and services.”

Several municipalities, including Goodyear, Peoria, Avondale, Scottsdale, Surprise and Glendale, have joined the effort and will work with the Mission’s Street Outreach staff as they comb Valley streets in a small fleet of Hope Coach vehicles providing water, toiletries and case management services to those in need. 

The mission’s outreach teams will be following the CDC’s COVID-19 safety protocols while providing personalized care that removes the barriers that keep people stuck in a cycle of homelessness.

“Anyone can help us save lives this summer, no matter if you’re an individual who wants to make a small donation online, a small-business owner who’d like to start a food or water drive, or if you just want to drop off a case of water,” Brissa said.

“It’s important to note that we’re not just handing out water and making people feel better. We’re building relationships with those in need and helping to remove the barriers to get them off the streets for good.”

Food, water and all other heat-relief donations can be dropped off at the Mission’s Donation Warehouse, located at 3440 W. Lewis Avenue, Building A, Suite G, in Phoenix. The mission is also in need of volunteers to help distribute vital, nutritious food to families in need at its Hope for Hunger food bank in Glendale.

For more information on what to donate or to start a Code:Red drive, contact Catie Hammann at gikhelp@

phxmission.org or 602-346-3347.