PHOENIX — A local foundation delivers essential goods and personal requests to the Valley's homeless.
Saturday was delivery day for Austin Davis, who hand-delivered food and cover to homeless individuals in the "Zone" encampment area in downtown Phoenix.
Davis delivers care packages multiple times a week to the Zone as well as to other homeless people around the city. Aside from essential needs like food and water, Davis takes special requests, and if those items can be donated by the community, he'll make sure to deliver.
"Things that will bring them a little joy in their lives," said Davis.
Davis works as Homeless Outreach Organizer for Arizona Jews for Justice, a pluralistic and progressive Jewish group that focuses on community outreach and social justice. He takes requests from people who are looking for a little joy or something to help with their emotional health, like the art pad and colored pencils he delivered on Saturday.
"It’s not only important to deliver for the needs in the moment, but also the emotional needs. I think it’s so valuable to know that someone cares about you," said Davis. "So if someone needs a pair of pants, or a suitcase, or a board game, or something else that will give them a little joy or happiness, I write it down on my phone, and usually what I've been doing is calling out to the community and saying, 'John would like this. John would like a pizza. That would make him happy.' Then in turn, the community will donate that to me and I'll go out and give it to them."
Davis said the next step for Arizona Jews of Justice is to create a web page on their site that allows anyone to see the unique and personal requests made by Arizona's homeless and donate a specific item.