City of Phoenix employees and volunteers distribute heat-related supplies to those in need

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – The City of Phoenix has staff and volunteers on the streets during the hottest hours of the day. They are helping the most vulnerable, in hopes of averting more deaths from the extreme heat. This comes as Maricopa County reports 29 heat-related deaths as of July 16. There were 16 confirmed heat-related deaths in 2021 over the same period.

This is the first summer that city workers and volunteers have come out with supplies. On Thursday, our team walked Thomas Road with them and learned what they needed most.

During the hottest hours of the day, volunteers and city employees assisted those in the brutal heat through the city’s Heat Mitigation and Response Team. It was formed and staffed in October last year. The supplies were funded by the US bailout. The group distributes wet neck wraps, reusable water bottles, sunscreen and misters.

David Hondula is the team manager. “We had difficult experiences for people who can live in their car for a few days, a few hundred meters from a public cooling center, but they did not know that was an option for them, so these are some of the barriers hoped to break down with our outreach teams,” Hondula said. The team will distribute supplies throughout the summer.

For volunteer Leslee Kelly, she sees it as an easy way to make a big difference. “This one touches me because I feel lucky to live in the house I live in and to be able to take care of my children and to be able to afford what I need, so I feel like I really wanted to give back to people who maybe can’t do that,” Kelly said.

Hondula says they are partnering with 50 other community organizations and have distributed over 35,000 supplies so far. If you would like to volunteer, you can Click here or email [email protected]

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