Heat Respite 2017 Wind Up

As I reflect on the past several months, I would like to say it has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the team here at Grace In The City, directly serving primarily those experiencing homelessness, overseeing this summer’s Heat Respite program. As I’ve gotten to know many of our guests one-on-one, I am reminded that each of us has our own unique stories of how we got to where we are today, and how to make changes for our future. This experience for me has truly been life changing.

We welcomed 10,816 visitors over 12 weeks -- nearly the same as last year's count -- and total volunteers (counting each person each day) numbered 997, for a grand total of 11,665 souls. It took 4,571 volunteer hours to make it happen. The big numbers may be attributed to the higher than normal heat this summer, the Burton Barr Library closure due to water damage, the stronger enforcement of the city’s loitering and camping laws, and a host of other outside forces. Whatever the reason, our guests were so appreciative of Grace’s hospitality and generosity, sentiments we heard every single day.

As Heat Respite 2017 draws to a close, I offer heartfelt thanks to those who made this program a success -- without the incredible continuing support of our ministry partners, friends and neighbors all, Heat Respite at Grace doesn't happen. 

I would like to recognize professional organizations that provided a variety of behavioral health, social, and medical services for our guests as well this summer. They include:

  • Community Bridges, Inc.
  • Terros Health
  • Circle the City’s Parsons Family Health Center’s Mobile Medical Unit
  • Southwest Behavioral Health
  • The Veteran’s Administration’s Healthcare for Homeless Veterans, Community Resource and Referral Center
  • Native American Connections
  • One N Ten
  • Shot in the Dark
  • City of Phoenix Police Department
  • City of Phoenix Fire Department 

Also, the Heat Respite program would not have been successful without the generous support of our donors. We received overwhelmingly generous financial donations. We also collected more than 1,500 cases of water in that time, and had almost 5,000 sack lunches donated; sack lunch donors included Lord of Life Lutheran, First UCC, New Journey Lutheran, and Peace Lutheran Churches. No donations were turned away, as even a single case of water helped people to stay hydrated. I would like to thank the following groups and individuals for their wonderful donations:


  • All Saints Lutheran Church
  • Alleluia Lutheran Church
  • Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Christian Brands, Inc.
  • The City of Phoenix Heat Relief Network
  • Copperpoint Insurance Company & Employees
  • Desert Cross Lutheran Church
  • Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Faith Lutheran Church
  • First UCC Phoenix
  • House of Hope
  • Life in Christ Lutheran Church
  • Living Water Lutheran Church
  • Living Water Lutheran Church’s Women's Bible Study
  • Lord of Life Lutheran Church
  • Love of Christ Lutheran Church
  • Mana House
  • Midwest Food Bank, Arizona
  • Mount of Olives Lutheran Church
  • Mountain View Lutheran Church
  • New Covenant Lutheran Church
  • New Journey Lutheran Church
  • Our Saviors Lutheran Church (Mesa)
  • Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church (Phoenix)
  • Peace Lutheran Church
  • Resurrection Lutheran Church
  • Saint Andrew Lutheran Church
  • Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
  • Spirit of Hope Lutheran Church
  • Super Radiator Coils
  • Walk A Mile In My Shoes
  • Waste Not of Arizona
  • West Valley Lutheran Gift Shop


  • Alice Bauder
  • Alvin and Virgina Trtree
  • Andrews Petre
  • Barbara Schaffer
  • Caroline Cerda
  • Christine Robinson
  • Clarence Harvey
  • Daniel Sechrist
  • DoraJean Littrell
  • Doris Wilk
  • Elsie Szecsy
  • Eric Eggert
  • Gail Turner
  • Harry and Sharon Vaughan
  • Jack and Lucille Beyer
  • James and Ann Gardner
  • Jim and Kathy Spitler
  • Jo Lazo
  • John and Linda Erickson
  • Katherine Roxlo
  • Laura Tatreau
  • Linda Wall
  • M.J. Reed
  • M.L. and C.E. Vinson
  • Mark and Susan Henderson
  • Robin Patryas and Frank Hinojos
  • Sheila Wright
  • Smith Gilmore
  • Solveig Muus
  • Teri Traaen & Frank Morris
  • Wayne & Jorge Triplett

Last, but certainly not least, I like to thank the wonderful team of volunteers we had one site, some nearly every single day. The old adage “it takes a village” certainly is true with Heat Respite, and it is physically (and even emotionally) impossible for one person to do this program solely on her own.


  • All Saints Episcopal Day School
  • Arizona Rock Products
  • Arizona State University College of Public Service
  • Boys Hope Girls Hope
  • Grace’s own Youth Group
  • Luke Air Force Base Command Staff and Service Men and Women
  • Saint Mary’s Basilica (multiple visits)


  • Adam Wohlbrandt
  • Brendan O’Connor
  • Caroline Cerda
  • Charles Mack
  • Consuelo Arroyo
  • Curtis Bradbury
  • Daryl Sherrer
  • Frank Soto
  • Gail Turner
  • Greg Silva
  • Jeff Jirele
  • Kathy Spitler
  • Kim Hall
  • Lee Berlanger
  • Liz Davidson
  • Lori Thompson
  • Margie Betz
  • Marlene Haller
  • Pastor Mary Louise Frenchman
  • Charles “Moses” Elder
  • Olga Gilchrist
  • Roy Larkin
  • Stephanie (last name withheld)
  • Suni Eckert
  • Sven Lenkewitz
  • Travies Mayweather
  • Tim Lee
  • Vonda Bennett
  • Yvonne Park

Again, thank you for this wonderful opportunity to be a part of this wonderful program. I look forward to being a part of Grace Lutheran Church for a long time to come. Looking back, being the Outreach Coordinator has been one of the most rewarding as well as challenging positions I’ve ever had, and I will be forever grateful.


Kim Davidson, MSW, MPA