The Last two Fridays I have been hanging out at the Phoenix Rescue Mission in So. Phoenix. This is a multi-level outreach to the estimated 20,000 homeless people in Phoenix, with thousands of them sleeping on the streets every night. (About 10 days ago it was 106 degrees @ 10:20pm.)
The Rescue Mission describes the homelessness in the valley like this.
Yesterday (June 30) I joined Cliff and Sergio as we filled up the Hope Coach and drove through Phoenix with water, pop cycles and survival kits. At one particular park — a place where it’s known the homeless hangout — about 30 folks were hanging out under the trees on a day where the temperatures hit 112.
As we ministered to them, 2 of the men said they wanted the help the Phoenix Rescue Mission offered, and they road with us back across to the Mission, which is located on the city’s Southwest city. As we returned to the Rescue Mission,I asked one of the men, a Latino fellow who said he was 27 when he last ate.
“A couple of days ago,” he said.
“Where did you eat?”
“We’re going to get you some lunch,” I said.
“That will be great. Thank you.”
The Mission offers several Bible-based programs that can lead to getting a GED, all sorts of job training, and a noted addiction recovery. If the men make it through the in-take process and into the initial Foundations programs, essentially they are in Bible studies and Recovery programs 6 hours a days, 6 days a week for the first 2 months.
The men eat together, sleep together in big dorms, and do the work that makes the Rescue Mission run. They even get a hot shower every day. The most advanced residences stay at the Rescue Mission for more than a year.The Rescue Mission is a big converted warehouse that encompasses about 3 acres.
This week there are about 150 men living at the mission.