When ASU Project Humanities’ homeless outreach began a few years ago, we were a few volunteers from ASU and the surrounding Maricopa County going down to the Human Services Campus in downtown Phoenix at the crack of dawn to support 150-200 adults experiencing homelessness. We all came from different parts of the Valley and were storing collected donations in our respective garages. We used tarp to lay the folded donations on the group for our pop up marketplace along the 12th Avenue and Madison sidewalk. We hung nicer clothes on the adjacent fence. We initially called it “Spontaneous Day of Service,” but the idea of supporting unsheltered individuals was so transformative to the handful of volunteers who went down those first few Saturdays for the two-hour block--from 6:30am to 8:30am—that we and they wanted to continue. And continue we did more intentionally asking our clients what they needed and more intentionally recruiting more volunteers. We now call our biweekly Service Saturdays “Humanity 101 in Action,” where intergenerational, multi-professional, and multi-communal individuals, groups, and organizations join us to distribute shoes, clothing, and toiletries. This outreach has been possible and successful because of collaboration, volunteerism, and partnerships. To experience this Saturday morning outreach twice a month--or every other Saturday--has continued to meet a growing need in this local community and as mirrored across the US—the need to extend humanity to individuals most denied that fundamental dignity—respect, kindness, compassion, and empathy. For the hundreds of volunteers we have had these many years, it is a welcome opportunity as well for deep self-reflection and critical reflection on class, race, gender, age, sexuality, ability, mental health, wellness, suffering, loss, and humanity.
How can individuals and groups can get involved in our outreach?
• doing donation drives and competitions
• doing personal or corporate solicitations within familial, communal, and professional networks
• joining weekly Friday sorting sessions
• being “personal shoppers” for our clients during the Service Saturdays outreach sessions, or,
• making a tax-deductible monetary donation: Invest Now
From middle and high school students to community members to retirees, this outreach has an important role for everyone interested to play.
Next Day of Service: August 7, 2021
Approach the gate to the east of the Human Resources Campus Administrative Office located at 230 S. 12th Avenue, Phoenix 85007. The Administration building is directly across Madison St. (red brick building on the SW corner of 12th Avenue and Madison Street)
Friday Sorting: Every Friday 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
The building (with 3 flags visible from downtown Tempe) sits atop hill, so drive up to the top. At top, bear right to arrive behind building and enter through double glass doors. Map and building pictured below: