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Ballard Spahr Law Firm and Safeway partner with Phoenix Rescue Mission

July 15, 2009

News Release from Nicole Peña, Director of Public Relations, Phoenix Rescue Mission:

As temperatures continue climb beyond 110 degrees, the homeless population becomes vulnerable to dehydration, heat stroke and in severe cases – death.

In response, Ballard Spahr Law Firm and Safeway have parterned with Phoenix Rescue Mission to collect a truck-load of water Saturday, July 18th from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Safeway grocery store located at 7th Street and Glendale Avenue. The Mission is asking the community to help keep the homeless hydrated this summer by donating a case of bottled water to the cause.

“There are more homeless on the streets today than just a year ago and water donations to all agencies that assist the homeless are down compared to previous years,” said Jerry Sandvig, Executive Director of the Phoenix Rescue Mission. “As a community we must do everything in our power to ensure the Summer of 2005 is not repeated.”

In 2005, more than 50 homeless men and women perished on the streets due to dehydration. Since then, Phoenix Rescue Mission and many other human service agencies have stepped up their efforts to hydrate the homeless. The Mission’s Hope Coach travels area streets distributing bottled water, sack meals, and clothing to those in need. The Mission is also part of the City of Phoenix Heat Relief Network acting as a respite site, hydration station and distribution hub for getting bottled water to agencies who do heat relief across the Valley. According to the Arizona Department of Health services, deaths among the homeless population were greatly reduced last summer. Donations of bottled water will ensure this trend continues.

Unfortunately, the same report indicated more that 50 home-bound senior citizens perished last year due to dehydration. The Mission is striving to serve and reduce the number of seniors suffering from heat-related causes by broadening out efforts to include home visits and wellness checks.

Water supplies are critically low. The Mission anticipates distributing 4,000 bottles of water a week if current weather forecasts are any indication; we need your help today to keep our heat relief program operating throughout the summer. Ballard Spahr law firm is hosting a water drive this week at their corporate offices to kick-off our efforts to fill the Phoenix Rescue Mission truck full of water on July 18, 2009.  For more information on how you can get involved, visit our web site at www.phoenixrescuemission.org.

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