Water bottles

Phoenix is sending out a call for water.

Bottles of water are needed to help local homeless outreach teams help those who are living on the streets during Phoenix’s extreme heat.

“Living on the streets can be a life-threatening situation, especially when temperatures move into the triple digits,” said Councilwoman Kate Gallego, chairwoman of the City Council Neighborhoods, Housing and Development Subcommittee in a statement. “I encourage everyone to give whatever they can to make this year’s program a success — giving just a few bottles of water can literally save a life.”

Last year the city collected 319,000 bottles of water from May to September. So far this year they’ve collected 123,000.

Those bottles of water, along with donations of sunscreen, underwear, socks, white T-shirts, insect repellent and prepackaged snacks, will be distributed to the homeless population across the city through homeless outreach teams.

“These teams actually have daily contact with homeless individuals,” said Kristina Blea, Homeless Programs coordinator for the city of Phoenix. “Our heat relief network provides water for them to distribute to homeless individuals in the parks and shelters. We partner with 14 outreach teams. To name a few there’s Salvation Army, Community Bridges and Healthcare for the Homeless. We also work with faith-based organizations that provide water to seniors and people who are home bound.”

The city needs donations to aid the heat relief efforts.

Residents can bring their tax-deductible donations to any of the city’s three family services centers from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday:

• Travis L. Williams, 4732 S. Central Ave., (602) 534-4732.

• John F. Long, 3454 N. 51st Ave., (602) 262-6510.

• Sunnyslope, 914 W. Hatcher Road, (602) 495-5229.

The city of Phoenix is also part of the Valleywide Heat Relief Network, which works to ensure the safety of all residents during hot summer months. The city’s Human Services Department is also reaching out to seniors through the 15 city senior centers to teach about heat exposure and how to protect themselves during the summer.

For more information on the city’s efforts or for tips to stay cool, visit phoenix.gov/humanservices or call (602) 256-4302.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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