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Phoenix Rescue Mission kicks off campaign to help homeless during hot summer months

The Phoenix Rescue Mission's "Hope Coach" van is shown. (KTAR photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- With the weather warming up in the Valley, the Phoenix Rescue Mission has started its annual Code Red Heat Relief Campaign.

The mission is sending out its "Hope Coach" van to give water and meals to the homeless, and to encourage them to come to its southwest Phoenix location for some shelter and spiritual guidance.

Many of the people that Chaplain Clifford Danley comes in contact with as he drives the van are drug addicts, he said. Danley added that he can relate to them because he's a recovering meth addict himself.

Most of the homeless people Danley encounters are just a short distance away from the mission near 35th Avenue and Durango Street, he said.

But it's not unusual for the Hope Coach to go to other Valley locations.

"It goes where it needs to go," said Danley. "I've received calls from up in the (Piestewa) Peak area for individuals that are wondering around and look like they could use some help. I've been all of the way up into the Cave Creek area to go rescue people."

Danley said he is concerned about a trend he's seeing with in Valley's homeless population.

"There is just more (homeless)," Danley said. "It's the younger crowd. I'm also seeing an increase in women, and occasionally more families."

Right now, the mission is available only for men to spend the night, but that is about to change, the chaplain said. Danley said the mission is adding women's showers, and that plans being made for a shelter for homeless women.

The Phoenix Rescue Mission is looking for donations of food, water, money and other items. Click here to find out more.

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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