Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has issued a call to the public for bottled water to help the needy through the summer. Phoenix is part of the Heat Relief Network, a collaboration of public and private groups working together to provide water through the hottest summer months. Since 2006 the group has worked with 13 homeless outreach teams to provide water, light clothing and sunblock to those in need. The group also sets up hydration and respite centers on Valley streets on the hottest days of the year.
Last year, the Heat Relief Network collected 210,000 bottles of water. This year, Stanton is calling for more.
“Around the country we have seen the effects in the past few days and weeks of extreme weather,” he said. “Our hearts, prayers and thoughts go out to the people dealing with that extreme weather. It’s also important to remember that here in our Valley during summer months we also deal with extreme weather. That weather can be dangerous and even potentially deadly unless we as a community reach out our arms to help people in need, particularly those temporarily experiencing homelessness.”
Stanton said residents could help most by keeping an eye out for their neighbors.
“If you know seniors or people who may be vulnerable, pick a time during hot summer months to knock on their door and see how they’re doing,” he said. “If they are in need, call the city of Phoenix or any of these organizations. They will get you the necessary support to help those in need.”
Other organizations helping with the efforts include the Salvation Army, Water for our World, the Phoenix Fire Department, St. Patrick Catholic Church parishioners, Niagra Bottling and the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.
Another way to help is by donating water. Cases of bottled water can be dropped off at any of the city’s three Family Services Centers: • 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. For more information about the Heat Relief Network and Summer Respite Program, visit phoenix.gov/humanservices.
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