Valley shelters collect donations as extreme temperatures threaten homeless

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

As scorching temperatures steadily rise, many vulnerable populations in the Valley struggle to escape the heat. For homeless and elderly shut-ins, summer is a dangerous season as they face the risk of heat-related deaths.

The Phoenix Rescue Mission is mobilizing to gather resources and prevent these heat-related complications. The organization launched their third annual Code Red: Summer Heat Relief campaign today, May 1. The campaign will run all summer until Aug. 31.

The Phoenix Rescue Mission has partnered with municipalities and business to raise awareness and ask Valley residents to donate drinking water, socks, toiletries, snacks, hats, light-colored T-shirts, sunglasses, sunscreen, chap stick, neck coolers and money.

The center volunteers gather the collected items in "Hope Totes," and distributes them to people in the streets in their Hope Coach vans. The care bags includes a map to the shelter, bottled water and other necessities.

"Less than a decade ago, about 74 homeless people would die each year on the streets," Nicole Pena of the Phoenix Rescue Mission said. "In the past couple of years we have eliminated most of those deaths. We still have work to do, but this is really important, it's compassion at its most basic level."

Pena said that there are an estimated 6,000 people living on the streets in Maricopa County.

Donation drop-off sites are located throughout the Valley. For locations and a complete list of needed items, visit www.phoenixrescuemission.org.

Phoenix Rescue Mission
1801 S 35th Ave, Phoenix
(602) 233-3000


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