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.