Phoenix officials have called for the private and public sector to join the outreach efforts of the annual Heat Relief Network to ensure the safety of homeless, seniors, disabled and others in need during the hot summer months.

Each summer the city of Phoenix works as part of a Heat Relief Network in cooperation with other government agencies, corporations, nonprofit and faith-based organizations to bring heat relief to individuals, families, seniors, and the disabled who are homeless and at high risk as temperatures begin to rise well over 100 degrees.

The city’s Human Services Department is educating senior citizens at its 15 senior centers on the dangers of heat exposure and how to recognize heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps.

The department also makes sure that caseworkers and meal delivery workers who come in contact with the elderly advise seniors about the effects of heat and how to protect themselves during the summer.

During the summer months the city also conducts its annual Summer Respite Program, the public is asked to donate unopened water bottles, sunscreen, new underwear, white socks, white T-shirts, insect repellent and prepackaged snack items that will be collected at the Human Services Department’s family services centers and distributed to the homeless by experienced homeless outreach teams.

Tax-deductible donations may be delivered to the city’s three Family Services Centers during operating hours, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at:

• 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

A comprehensive list of tips on How to Stay Safe and Hydrated in the Summer Heat is available at

Ariz. expands school choice to students attending failing schools, foster care children

Gov. Jan Brewer recently signed into law a sweeping school choice expansion that will grant eligibility to students attending failing schools, students of military personnel, and foster care children to participate in a first-of-its-kind private school choice program offering parents an unprecedented level of choice in their children’s education.

The American Federation for Children — the nation’s voice for school choice — praised Brewer for signing the legislation, which significantly increases the size and scope of the Arizona Empowerment Scholarships Accounts (ESA) Program, the first and only education savings account program in operation in America.

The American Federation for Children (AFC) also praised the legislators who worked to expand the ESA program, which is now poised to serve thousands of disadvantaged children across the state.

In addition to special needs students, who currently qualify, the legislation would allow the following students to enroll in the program: those who attend a school or school district rated a “D” or “F” by the state department of education, children of a member of the U.S. military, and children in foster care.

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