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Valley heat relief campaign rescues 120 people off the streets since May launch

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Rescue Mission)

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Outreach Team has rescued 120 people off the streets since launching its heat relief campaign in May, officials announced.

“Our Street Outreach teams have been working tirelessly to find and rescue people from the hot sun and, frankly, the streets in general,” Nathan Smith, chief program officer, said in a press release.

The Mission’s outreach teams broke their all-time record in May with 60 rescues, then again in June following the launch of the Code: Red Heat Relief Campaign, Smith said. In the previous year, there was an average of 27 rescues each month.

“Because of the passion and care our teams bring to the streets, the partnerships we are building in cities around the Valley, and the strong support of the community, it makes sense that we’re making incredible progress,” Smith said in the release.

Among those rescued was a mother and her five children who found themselves in a dire position when a move to Phoenix from Indianapolis didn’t go as planned.

The mother nearly opted to use her car for shelter when she was down to her last dollars but was rescued by the Mission’s Street Outreach team before spending a single night on the streets. They also provided bus tickets for her family to return back home.

The mother’s story was made possible by the expansion of the Mission’s outreach team, which now has fleet vehicles that are capable of searching for and rescuing vulnerable individuals and families across the Valley, according to Rescue Mission officials

The coordinated effort is largely possible due to local municipalities, including Peoria, Avondale, Scottsdale, Surprise and Glendale, as well as several public-private partnerships.

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