Tag Archives: homeless

tree-of-hands

Networking with a cause

Last fall, Rachel Luttrell was standing in front of a grill at a Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) campus in the midst of monsoon season. She was volunteering at one of NAIOP’s Dream Team barbecues that fed more than 10,000 homeless individuals last year. The grills were having a hard time staying lit, and she recalls the smell of smoke filling her clothes.

“I felt defeated,” Luttrell says. “We grabbed the batch of burgers to refill the serving line and were greeted by volunteers and CASS clients smiling. The smoke smell no longer smelled foul; it smelled delicious! A few clients raised their hands in the air and welcomed the rain on their skin. No frowns, just joy!”

Luttrell, a senior property manager at ACP Property Services and philanthropy chair for NAIOP Arizona’s Developing Leaders Chapter for professionals under the age of 35, says the moment reminded her to be thankful for the food, shelter and support network she has. Developing Leaders hosts five to 10 events a year, including a Halloween costume drive for UMOM, a “Feeding the Homeless” event at CASS and an event that benefits Children’s Cancer Network.

“We realize the importance of strong community in the success of future generations,” Luttrell says.

Most of Developing Leaders’ events, like NAIOP’s Dream Teams, founded in 2013, cap at 30 people. However, Luttrell points out that most networking events that reach much larger groups of NAIOP members can be turned into a philanthropic opportunity (i.e. making admission to an event nonperishable food).

Above: Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona staffers (left to right) Blaine Black, Bonnie Machen, Greg Valladao and Patrick Devine flip burgers on the grills at the Human Services Campus in Phoenix.

Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona staffers (left to right) Blaine Black, Bonnie Machen, Greg Valladao and Patrick Devine flip burgers on the grills at the Human Services Campus in Phoenix.

“It was recognized early on that NAIOP’s members are actively involved in the communities they live and work therefore philanthropy was a natural addition to the existing advocacies. The Developing Leaders felt building relationships occurs best when you are alongside each other, stripped of titles and suites, working together for a common cause.”

Charity is a relatively recent addition to the NAIOP Arizona chapter. In 2008, Megan Creecy-Herman established Developing Leaders’ philanthropy committee, which pre-dates NAIOP Arizona’s own official adoption of charitable efforts in 2010.

Legacy Capital Advisors Principal Keaton Merrell points out that the chapter has engaged in philanthropic events over the years, but didn’t make it a part of annual programming until four years ago. In that time, the chapter has raised about $150,000 for charitable causes through its annual Crawfish Boil benefiting Ryan House and has served about 23,000 meals to homeless individuals. In 2013, NAIOP established Dream Teams, groups of 30 volunteers comprised of about 10 people from three firms, who get together once a month to barbecue burgers and hot dogs for the homeless.

In 2013, NAIOP Arizona fed more than 10,000 homeless people as member firms volunteered on 12 Friday afternoons. Given the name “Dream Teams,” NAIOP Arizona members this year have fed almost 3,000 homeless people.

In 2013, NAIOP Arizona fed more than 10,000 homeless people as member firms volunteered on 12 Friday afternoons. Given the name “Dream Teams,” NAIOP Arizona members this year have fed almost 3,000 homeless people.

“It is always great to see a Dream Team with volunteers who have never done it before and see them team up to feed 800 homeless people,” Merrell says. “Seeing this massive line of people that you are feeding is very gratifying. People that show up for the first time literally had no idea they would be affecting that many people.”

There’s literally a quarter-mile-long line of homeless, says Chuck Vogel, senior vice president of real estate joint ventures and dispositions at American Realty Capital Properties, Inc.
“Until you go down [to 12th and Madison avenues] and do it the first time, you don’t even get it,” he says.

Just wrapping up its first year, word has spread and there’s a waiting list to get assigned to a Dream Team. Currently, there are more volunteers than space to feed the homeless. Registration costs about $75 per volunteer.

“It’s funny,” Vogel says. “We send a follow-up email with photos, and we get phone calls from people saying, ‘Hey we want to go, too.’ It’s almost a competition. They see who has participated. It’s more about who isn’t on that list. Not who is on it.”

heat relief network - hot sun

Summer Heat Relief Campaign Kicks off May 1

Scorching temperatures are a health hazard to the Valley’s homeless and elderly shut-ins, and one non-profit organization is mobilizing to prevent heat-related deaths and illnesses among this vulnerable, growing population.

Phoenix Rescue Mission is partnering with several municipalities and businesses to launch its new “Code Red: Summer Heat Relief Campaign” on Wed., May 1. While the Mission has conducted annual summer water drives for several years, “Code Red” elevates the urgency of the call to action with a public plea for water, white socks, toiletries, cool snack packs, hats, light-colored T-shirts, sunglasses, sunscreen, chapstick, chilly neck coolers and more. Volunteers are needed to help with distribution efforts and other tasks. Monetary donations are also requested, particularly in May when the Mission qualifies for a matching grant made possible by several friends of the Phoenix Rescue Mission that ends May 31.

“The majority of homeless people on the streets are battling addiction challenges, which means many of them are already severely dehydrated because of their substance abuse. Combine that with extreme heat and it can be fatal,” said Jay Cory, Phoenix Rescue Mission president and CEO.

Arizona ranks as the 4th worst state in the nation for homelessness. A startling 13,248 men, women and children are homeless in Maricopa County, according to the most recent Maricopa Association of Governments street count and point-in-time shelter data. In addition, Phoenix was recently identified in a national HUD survey as one of the few places in the U.S. where the homeless street population has actually grown by 11 percent in 2012 as compared to 2011.

Public drop-off sites for water, socks, sunscreen, hats, toiletries and other heat relief items are located throughout the Valley. For a complete list of items needed and drop-off locations, visit www.phoenixrescuemission.org.

Phoenix Rescue Mission provides Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger and homelessness. The non-profit Mission, which has been operating since 1952, is asking the public for support of its many programs designed to save lives, including Hope Coach Street Outreach, Homeless Emergency Services, Men’s Addiction Recovery Program and the new Changing Lives Center for Women and Children. For more information, call (602) 346-3342 or visit www.phoenixrescuemission.org.

114449489

RAMARK, UMOM New Day Centers Help People get Jobs in Phoenix

As many as 25,000 individuals in Arizona were homeless over the past year, many due to a recent job loss. Yet six out of 10 adults living at UMOM New Day Centers for low-income and homeless families don’t have a high school diploma or GED, or the skills needed to find a job in today’s challenging economic market.

To help address this need, ARAMARK, the global professional services company, will establish a hub for job readiness at UMOM and provide ongoing resources and expertise to help individuals prepare for and secure meaningful jobs.

“Without an education or training, it is difficult for our families to afford the rent for an average apartment and achieve economic independence,” said Darlene Newsom, CEO, UMOM New Day Centers.

The ARAMARK Building Community (ABC) Opportunity Zone will include offices that will be redesigned into efficient spaces for case management and meetings with employment specialists. A large under-utilized conference area will be updated with fresh paint and inspirational murals, creating a place for residents to learn new skills, search for jobs, obtain Graduation Equivalency Diploma (GED) tutoring, work on resumes or participate in workshops to enhance self-esteem and interviewing skills. Volunteers will also update UMOM’s computer skills training room.

Throughout the year, ARAMARK will provide support for UMOM’s workforce programs, providing monthly tutoring, and workshops for developing resumes and practicing interview skills.  In addition, volunteers will create and distribute GED preparation kits and hold an office furniture donation program.

“ARAMARK is proud of this ongoing partnership with UMOM,” Sandy Heilman, Vice President Sales and Marketing, ARAMARK Parks & Destinations. “By lending the talents of our employees and our resources we hope to help people learn the skills they need to find jobs and achieve financial independence, ultimately resulting in stronger families and a thriving community.”

UMOM, which has served the Greater Phoenix area for more than 45 years, is the largest homeless shelter for families in the state, serving more than 6,000 people annually, and offering a variety of services including food, transportation assistance, child care, programs for teens, education, job search workshops and medical care.

The project is part of ARAMARK Building Community (ABC), the company’s global volunteer and philanthropic program, ARAMARK strengthens local community centers and helps struggling families in the U.S. and abroad.

Since the start of the partnership with UMOM in 2009, ARAMARK has renovated the center’s clothing processing and storage room and donated much needed clothing; updated outdoor play areas to provide families with safe recreational facilities, and created a computer lab for residents. ARAMARK volunteers have also been part of the UMOM Wellness Center’s Health and Wellness fair, hosting healthy cooking demonstrations and providing nutrition education classes.

“We are fortunate to have a partner like ARAMARK. The commitment of their employees, and these additional job readiness resources will help us provide the programs necessary for people to succeed,” Newsom said.

Sundt water bottles

Sundt Construction To Donate 150K Bottles Of Water To Thirst Aid Drive

Thirst Aid Drive - St. JosephSundt Construction Company, with the help from its subcontractors and suppliers, will lead off the 2012 Thirst Aid Water Drive on May 11 by delivering 150,000 bottles of water by semi-truck to St. Joseph the Worker, a Human Service Campus Agency.

As temperatures rise, employees from Sundt’s corporate headquarters in Tempe are once again gearing up to participate in the annual Thirst Aid water bottle drive to benefit St. Joseph the Worker, a nonprofit organization that aids the homeless and other disadvantaged individuals throughout the Phoenix area. Many of them suffer from thirst, heat-related illness and even death when temperatures soar in the spring and summer months.

The Sundt Foundation organized the company’s first Thirst Aid event in 2010 with the hope of collecting 1,200 water bottles. They crushed their goal by collecting 49,000 bottles, and that number tripled the following year when 149,000 bottles came through our doors – so many that St. Joseph the Worker was able to build collaboration with the entire Human Services Campus.

As a result of Sundt’s donation, St. Joseph the Worker, in collaboration with the Human Services Campus service providers, did not have to turn away any individual who needed water.

The Human Services Campus, an unprecedented collaboration of 15 homeless service providers, was created in 2005 to address the growing demand for services by people experiencing homelessness. Each day, 1,300 men and women access resources such as shelter, physical and mental health services, dental care, substance abuse treatment, employment services, and housing placement.

Collectively, each agency worked with their supporters to collect donated water and heat relief funding to be able to provide for the needs of the individuals utilizing services on the Human Services Campus.

Each year, the City of Phoenix holds a water drive and places hydration stations around the community.  With the support of our collective donors, St. Joseph the Worker and other Human Service Campus providers did not have to reach out to the City of Phoenix for the first time.

By providing for the individuals on the campus through this collective effort, the City of Phoenix was able to support smaller agencies that do not have the support of organizations such as Sundt Construction Company.

The goal for this year’s drive; Collecting 150,000 water bottles and continuing the commitment to making the event as green as possible. How? St. Joseph the Worker in partnership with the Human Services Campus providers, are installing recycling containers at all areas where trash receptacles are currently located so that the water bottles aren’t thrown away.

“As Sundt employees, we’re fortunate to have nice jobs in comfortable offices where we always have access to clean, cool water,” says Lisa White, a Foundation board member and organizer of the event. “Not everyone is so lucky, which is why the Sundt Foundation decided to get involved in Thirst Aid with our own water bottle drive. Since then, the participation and support have been tremendous. Many of our subcontractors have also gotten involved. It’s so satisfying to reach out and do what we can to help others – for them and for us.”

“On behalf of everyone here at St. Joseph the Worker, we wish to thank Sundt Construction Company for being the foundation that makes these collaborative efforts possible,” says Brent Downs, Executive Director for St. Joseph the Worker.  “Their continued support will provide needed heat relief to over 1,300 men and women every day!”

For more information on Sundt Construction, visit Sundt’s website at sundt.com. Also, for more information on Thirst Aid, visit St. Joseph the Worker’s website at sjwjobs.org/thirst-aid.