Phoenix Rescue Mission is launching its 9th annual Code:Red Summer Heat Relief Campaign to ensure the Valley’s homeless population and at-risk individuals do not fall victim to the hot summer months ahead.

Through August 31, the large-scale heat relief initiative and water drive is raising the level of need for this year’s campaign, due to the continuing risks of COVID-19. In addition to water and other heat relief items, the Mission is asking the public to help support the campaign with monetary donations and non-perishable food drives. Monetary donations, which will be essential to meet the increased need during the difficult months ahead, will be matched up to $150,000 – made possible by a grant from several friends of the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

The Mission also launched a system for individuals and companies to easily set up digital fundraising drives to make socially distanced collections even simpler.

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of Code:Red, the need for public support could never be higher,” Phoenix Rescue Mission CEO Ken Brissa says. “In addition to battling triple-digit temperatures, the number of homeless men and women in our community has continued to climb while the pandemic limits access to many resources and services.”

Several municipalities have joined the effort and will work with the Mission’s Street Outreach staff as they comb Valley streets in a small fleet of Hope Coach vehicles providing water, toiletries, and case management services to those in need. The Mission’s outreach teams will be following the CDC’s COVID-19 safety protocols while providing personalized care that removes the barriers that keep people stuck in a cycle of homelessness.

“Anyone can help us save lives this summer, no matter if you’re an individual who wants to make a small donation online, a small business owner who’d like to start a food or water drive, or if you just want to drop off a case of water,” Brissa says. “It’s important to note that we’re not just handing out water and making people feel better. We’re building relationships with those in need and helping to remove the barriers to get them off the streets for good.”

More information about the Code:Red initiative can be found at phoenixrescuemission.org/codered. For more information on what to donate or to start a Code:Red drive, contact Catie Hammann at gikhelp@phxmission.org or 602-346-3347.