With another scorching hot summer nearly here, the danger of dehydration is very present and real, and this health risk is even greater for the Valley’s homeless, who often do not have access to life-sustaining water.
Nonprofit groups across the Valley are committed to providing these at-risk individuals and families with the water they desperately need to survive another triple-digit summer.
The Department of Economic Security reported in 2009 that nearly 7,000 children and youth in Arizona experienced homelessness and received services from state nonprofit organizations.
There are more than 8,000 homeless individuals in Maricopa County alone. The Human Service Campus, a group of 15 homeless service providers, has created the “Thirst Aid” program in an effort to reduce incidences of heat-related death among the county’s homeless population. They hope that the community will support them in their goal of collecting and distributing 500,000 bottles of water between May 1 and September 30.
Tax-deductible donations can be made online at ThirstAidAZ.org, or by mailing checks payable to the Humane Services Campus to 204 S. 12th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
Cases of bottled water can be donated directly to one of the following three locations:
Human Service Campus Office at the Success Center
- 204 South 12th Ave., Pheonix 85007
- 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday -Friday
Central Arizona Shelter Services
- 203 South 12th Avenue, Phoenix 85007
- 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday -Friday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Saturday
Lodestar Day Resource Center
- 1125 West Jackson Street, Phoenix 85007
- 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday -Sunday
Pickup services are also available in some areas. For more information or to schedule a pickup, contact Holly at 602-229-1242.
For the fifth year in a row, the City of Mesa will partner with local nonprofit groups to provide bottled water to the city’s homeless in the sweltering summer months through the Hydration Donation Program. Residents donated and distributed over 100,000 bottles last year.
The program’s five drop-off locations will receive donations of bottled water beginning June 1 through September 16. These locations include:
Mesa Fire Department Volunteer Center
- 2830 E. Adobe (located behind Fire Station 206 at Lindsay and Adobe)
- 24 hour drop-off in parking lot
Red Mountain Multigenerational Center
- 7550 E. Adobe
- 5:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday – Friday; 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday
United Food Bank
- 245 S. Nina Drive (north of Broadway between Extension and Alma School)
- 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday (collection bins available on weekends)
Paz de Cristo
- 424 W. Broadway
- 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday; 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday – Sunday
A New Leaf – MesaCAN
- 635 E. Broadway
- 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday in the lobby
Give the life-giving gift of water to homeless children, adults and families in the Valley! — Sadie Smeck