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Updated May 2, 2013 - 11:17 am

Phoenix mission preparing to help homeless in summer

Chaplain Clifford Danley. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- The warmer weather could make things tough on the Valley's homeless.

The Phoenix Rescue Mission said that data from the Maricopa Association of Governments shows 13,248 men, women and children are homeless in Maricopa County. Arizona ranks as the fourth-worst state in the nation for homelessness.

The mission began its "Code Red: Summer Heat Relief Campaign" this week. The event sends trucks all over the Valley to give items to the homeless.

"What I do is take water out, food, and hygiene kits," said Chaplain Clifford Danley, who is one of the drivers. "Then I engage them in a conversation about what the Phoenix Rescue Mission does. It's not uncommon to bring people back and get them to the shelter and get them out of the heat and give them a hot meal and a bed."

Danley said he gives goods out all over the Valley.

"I've gone to parks out in Glendale. I've traveled canals. I've gone into underpasses," he Danley. "I have a lot of places where I know the folks are, where they tend to have their little campsites and that type of thing. I've even gone into alleys. I know where the alleys are."

Danley knows from experience. He was homeless and addicted to drugs when someone brought him to the Phoenix Rescue Mission in 2005. He said that changed his life forever.

The Phoenix Rescue Mission said it needs, in addition to water, volunteers and donations of toiletrees, socks and other items to help the homeless battle the heat. Those who want more information should call (602) 346-3342.

Items can also be dropped off at the following locations:

• All Starbucks locations in Chandler, Tempe and Gilbert
• Fire Station 151: 6851 N. 52nd Avenue, Glendale
• Fire Station 152: 6850 W. Bethany Home, Glendale
• Fire Station 153: 14061 N. 59th Ave., Glendale
• Fire Station 154: 4439 W. Peoria Ave., Glendale
• Fire Station 155: 6255 W. Union Hills, Glendale
• Fire Station 156: 6801 W. Deer Valley Rd., Glendale
• Fire Station 157: 9658 N. 59th Ave., Glendale
• Fire Station 158: 6261 N. 83rd Ave., Glendale
• Fire Station 159: 17159 N. 63rd Ave., Glendale
• Lerner & Row: 2701 E. Camelback Road, Suite 140, Phoenix
• Lerner & Row: 535 E. McKellips Road, Building 2, Suite 105, Mesa
• Lerner & Row: 5525 W. Glendale, Suite 201, Glendale
• Lerner & Row: 7200 W. Bell Road, Suite D-2, Glendale

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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