Summer heat can be deadly, and no one knows this more than residents in Phoenix, Arizona. Take Robert for example. In 2019, Robert’s parole officer recommended that to overcome his addiction, he enrolls in recovery at Phoenix Rescue Mission. Even though Robert readily agreed, he was already making other plans. He blew off his intake appointment and spent the next couple of months on the streets trying to stay out of sight. But he didn’t consider the fact that it was summer, a decision that almost cost him his life 

“I would bounce between Starbucks and fast-food restaurants to stay cool. But then I collapsed one day. When I opened my eyes, there were paramedics standing over me. They said I was very dehydrated. They told me I was lucky I woke up.” 

They were right; Robert was lucky. According to Maricopa County, 130 individuals experiencing homelessness died from heat-related causes in 2021, with the number of fatalities trending even higher in 2022.  

The heat was so unbearable that I turned myself in. I told them I would accept whatever conviction they gave me. But instead of locking me up, they still allowed me to go to Phoenix Rescue Mission!” 

Phoenix Rescue Mission gladly welcomed him out of the deadly heat and connected him with recovery classes, counseling and case management tools that would help break the hold addiction had on his life. 

Robert’s story is not an uncommon one. Luckily, 70 years ago Phoenix Rescue Mission was founded to provide Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger, homelessness, addiction, and trauma.  

Throughout the year, Phoenix Rescue Mission works to protect Arizona’s citizens facing homelessness, hunger, addiction and trauma but puts extra focus on homeless outreach efforts during the dangerous summertime heat. 

This past summer, a total of 185 men and women were rescued from their situation on the streets and were placed in housing or a suitable program thanks to the community effort led by Phoenix Rescue Mission. During its 10th annual Code: Red Summer Heat Relief Campaign, the Mission distributed 687,194 water bottles to those in need. Also, the Mission’s “Hope Coach” Street Outreach vehicles drove more than 55,000 miles to engage individuals experiencing homelessness and distribute 6,440 Hope Totes, bags filled with essentials like sunscreen, socks, hygiene products and more. 

In addition to the Mission’s Code: Red Summer Heat Relief Campaign, they provide programming for substance abuse and trauma, homeless outreach, food assistance and workforce development 

Phoenix Rescue Mission’s work resonates with us at MJ as it closely aligns with the commitments of the MJ Foundation and our Purpose. Part of the Foundation’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty. We admire the work of the Mission as they embrace each person and help transform them from individuals just surviving to individuals who are thriving. 

Think back to Robert. Today Robert is better than safe. He’s sober, he’s a graduate of the Men’s Recovery Program, and he’s currently enrolled in tech school, working on his A+ technical certification with plans to become an IT professional. He is one of many success stories to benefit from the Mission’s transformative work.  


  • Donate: 79 cents of every dollar given to Phoenix Rescue Mission goes directly to helping people facing hunger, homelessness, addiction, and trauma. Visit the donation page to donate. 
  • Volunteer: From packing food boxes to mentoring and tutoring individuals in recovery, there are many different volunteer opportunities through the Mission. 
  • Host a Drive: Hosting a drive is a great way to serve struggling neighbors in our community, and to introduce the Mission’s life-transforming work to new audiences. 
  • Donate Most Needed Items: There is a regularly updated list of the most needed items. Visit this page to see what items are critically needed for our Phoenix neighbors.  

Visit the Phoenix Rescue Mission website to learn more about how you can support their work.