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Tempe launches water donation drive for unsheltered people

Water bottles
Getty Images
Water bottles.

Much of the nation is in the middle of an extensive heat wave as the Valley is expecting heat advisories through much of the week.

Multiple cities and groups have launched water drive and donation initiatives to help unsheltered people and others.

The city of Tempe is launching a bottled water drive this week that will last through the end of the month.

People can drop off water at Hundred Mile Brewing on Scottsdale Road and other cooling centers.

Tempe is also part of the regional Heat Relief Network that provides cooling locations through September.

Tempe Human Services manager Jessica Wright says it has 10 locations.

“Some experiencing homelessness. Some folks may be using that space to offset utility bills so that they do not have to run their AC as high during the summer in their home locations. And we use water bottles at spaces like that too," Wright said.

The Hope outreach team made over 7,000 engagements last year. An engagement can mean every time they speak to a person experiencing homelessness.

"Our Hope Outreach team is engaging people on average between 150 to 200, sometimes 250 times per week. That's individual engagements throughout the city and during that time these water bottles are really useful for opening the conversation with those individuals," Wright said.

Other cities such as Mesa are also in the midst of their own drive. While Phoenix is not hosting one, it has donated hundreds of thousands of water bottles since the beginning of May to city sites and community partners.

Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.