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Phoenix Rescue Mission celebrates 70 years of service in the Valley of the Sun

From one meal to 300 a day, Phoenix
Rescue Mission serves as critical lifeline

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Phoenix Rescue Mission, a Christ-centered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization seeking provides solutions to those experiencing hunger, homelessness, addiction and trauma, is celebrating 70 years of service.

“From very humble beginnings to an organization that presently has more than 300 people in residential programs at any given time, Phoenix Rescue Mission is proof of what happens when the community comes together to transform lives,” said Phoenix Rescue Mission CEO Ken Brissa, in a prepared statement. “We’ll continue to work with partner organizations and our dedicated, caring community to fulfill our vision of offering love, hope and transformation to every neighbor in the Valley.”

The organization began in 1952 when LeRoy Davidson, a house painter in his late 20s, connected with a man by the name of Jimmy Carr about the need for a Christian mission in Phoenix. Their conversation led Jimmy, LeRoy and LeRoy’s wife, Grace, to decide to help the men struggling on the streets of the Valley.

On the first evening of the operation, the Davidsons’ son Stanley and daughter Beverly helped their mother make bologna sandwiches and Kool-Aid. About 15 migrant workers and vagrants came into the small building on 3rd Street in downtown Phoenix, sitting on wooden planks supported by paint cans.

As Phoenix has grown, the mission has adjusted to meet the most pressing needs of the time. Today, Phoenix Rescue Mission provides residential recovery services, educational assistance, vocational training, mobile outreach services, food assistance and spiritual guidance to those facing poverty, addiction and homelessness.

In 2021, PRM opened the Life Recovery Building and dramatically increased the capacity to serve men in need, growing from 160 beds to 360. Last year, the mission also rescued 621 people through homeless street outreach, distributed more than 50,000 food boxes, graduated 68 clients from the long-term recovery program and more.

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