Phoenix city workers, volunteers hand out heat-related supplies to people in need

City of Phoenix workers and volunteers hit the streets to get cooling supplies to those in need in the heat.
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 8:49 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The City of Phoenix has staff and volunteers on the streets during the hottest times of the day. They’re helping those most vulnerable, hoping to prevent more deaths from the extreme heat. This comes as Maricopa County reports 29 heat-related deaths as of July 16. There were 16 heat-related deaths confirmed in 2021 in that same time span.

This is the first summer city workers and volunteers are out with supplies. On Thursday, our team walked along Thomas Road with them and learned what was most needed.

During the hottest hours of the day, volunteers and city workers helped those out in the brutal heat through the city’s Heat Response and Mitigation Team. It was formed and staffed in October of last year. The supplies were funded through the American Rescue Plan. The group is passing out wet neck wraps, reusable water bottles, sunscreen, and misters.

David Hondula is the team’s director. “We’ve had tough experiences for folks who may be living in their cars for a couple of days, just a couple hundred yards away from a public cooling center but they didn’t know that was an option for them so those are some of the barriers were hoping to break down with our outreach teams,” said Hondula. The team will be handing out supplies throughout the entire summer.

For volunteer Leslee Kelly, she feels this is an easy way to make a big difference. “This one hits home for me because I feel lucky to live in the house I live in and be able to care for my kids and be able to pay for what I need to, so I feel like I really wanted to give back to people who maybe can’t do that,” said Kelly.

Hondula says they partner with 50 other community organizations and have given out more than 35,000 supplies so far. If you’d like to volunteer, you can click here or email