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.

Did you know you can contribute to Project Humanities' Homeless Outreach efforts simply by ordering items from our Amazon Wishlist? We appreciate all your support. 
Amazon Wishlist

Next Day of Service: August 7, 2021

Location:  1206 W Madison St, Phoenix, AZ 85007

Location Details:  

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)


ASU's Project Humanities

Friday Sorting: Every Friday 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location: ASU Community Services Building (CSB), 200 E Curry Rd, Tempe, AZ 85281

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:


Dr. Neal Lester, Ph.D., Founding Director, Project Humanities, Arizona State University (12-27-20) on The Alvin Galloway Show :

Interview about "Homeless Outreach During COVID", The Alvin Galloway Show  (27 December 2020)


Friday Sorting - Homeless Outreach

Service Saturday - Homeless Outreach

Q: What donations are needed/accepted?

A. We accept adult clothing, shoes, accessories, and toiletries. This specific outreach does not service children. Seasonal clothing is especially helpful, such as coats, gloves, and jackets during the winter months. We accept both men’s and women’s clothing, but usually encounter shortages of men’s items most often.

We also have an ongoing Amazon Wishlist for toiletries.

Q: Where can I drop off donations?

A. Donations are accepted at various locations:

  • Project Humanities Office

    • Location: Discovery Hall 112, 250 E Lemon St, Tempe, AZ 85287.

    • Hours: M-F 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    • Please call in advance to arrange a drop-off time. The office number is 480-727-7030.

  • Warehouse/ ASU Community Services Building [atop drive with 3 flags raised]

    • Location: 200 East Curry Road, Tempe. Bear right to arrive at the back of the building and through glass double doors.

    • Hours: Friday, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • Bring donations directly to any Service Saturday at the Human Services Campus: 12th Ave. and Jefferson, 6:30 am to 8:30 am, every other Saturday.

Q: How can I get involved?

A. Simply show up at any service day, and feel free to bring family and friends! There is no RSVP or registration required. A calendar of upcoming Service Saturdays can be found under the tab “Calendar.”

Additionally, we are always in need of volunteers to sort donations at our Tempe warehouse on Fridays from 2 p.m.– 4 p.m.

Q: What will I be doing at Service Saturdays?

A. You will help distribute clothing and other items to the 150-200 unsheltered adults who attend our outreach days. This could also include set-up and organization of tables that house the donations, interacting with the clients we serve, and generally offering support to ensure the service day runs smoothly.


"Dr. Lester, Thanks for the good deeds, you and your group is doing to help those that need help so badly. There's far too many homeless and hungry, and far too many that wouldn't considering helping out." -- Geneva

"It was a pleasure to work with you and your awesome group of people on this amazing project. We hope that we can be part of it many other Saturdays to serve the community and give back to the ones in ” -- Klaus Doering, Director of Operations, Sprinter-rentals

"It was so nice meeting with you! You run a wonderful organization & I was happy to be able to support it."  -- Marie Brown,Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

“I am a representative of the Gamma Sigma Omega graduate chapter of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. in Phoenix, AZ. We met Saturday morning with my other frat brothers Daniel Hardy and Antoine Jones. We first like to say thank you for allowing us to participate with Project Humanities in helping the homeless. We were honored to be apart of it and would like to continue to participate in the future along with other community service events…. I definitely want to keep in contact with you for future reference and stay up to day for other community service opportunities. Please let us know if there other opportunities of community service for us to get involved in.” --TR Badger

"It was just great to see you on Saturday and all of the other incredible team members. What a great experience working side by side with your committed team to help out those wonderful people and understanding just how close or how far all of us are from different circumstances. I have thought regularly over the weekend of Nicki who was one of the early 'shoppers' and also one of the gentlest souls that I have ever met. There are a couple of people who I would like to introduce you to who could have a big impact on homelessness and might be a perfect fit with Project Humanities." -- Wayne Clancy, Founder & Chief Innovation Officer, MindSuiteMetrics.com, Future Strategies Inc.

“I just think it’s marvelous of YOU to head such an effort to help others. Many people talk about helping, but not very many actually do anything. Now that I know you are providing this outreach to the Phoenix homeless, I’ll keep you in mind for the day that I finally get around to cleaning out some things from my household that I no longer need or use.”Mary Ellen Stepanich, PhD, author of  D is for Dysfunctional  and  Doo-Wop Doo-Wops & the B-Flat Murder

"For a few months now, I have participated in a homeless outreach program known as Service Saturday with the Diving Devils Dogs. We arrive in downtown Phoenix at 6:45 A.M. every other Saturday to distribute clothing donations and water to the people living by the CASS shelter. The opportunity to interact with these people is heart-warming and I have brought a number of friends to help me. It is an eye-opening experience for anyone who has not spent considerable time with an underprivileged group of people. Diving Devil Dogs ensures that everyone is safe - both the people are helping and those who we help - and I personally enjoy talking to the people who are beneficiaries of the service. There are many occasions where homeless people are not treated like fellow humans because of their conditions; Diving Devils Dogs help these people as equals because equal is who they truly are." - Anonymous


Calendar (2021)




10, 24


7, 21


4, 18


2, 16, 30


13, 27


11, 25


ASU Events: Project Humanities' Ongoing Service Saturdays

Project Humanities - Spontaneous Service Saturdays 

Cronkite News, Arizona PBS (April 2017): Story by Allison Gargaro

Service Saturdays (Fox 10 News)

Fox 10 News on Day of Service

 Dr. Neal Lester talks about Humanity 101 in action

Service Saturdays - Public Service Announcement by Intern Ariz

Service Saturdays - Public Service Announcement by Intern Ariz

 Service Saturday 01/28/2017


Dr. Neal Lester: Project Humanities and Service to Phoenix Homeless


Arizona Jews for Justice "Overcrowded & Overheated" - How to advocate for our Unsheltered in AZ

Service Saturday Highlights



Our Supporters:



The Inner Workings of a Local Mastermind - Stefano Contreras

Project Humanities connects Valley's diverse communities - Ariz Chang, Intern, Project Humanities

Serving Downtown: Clothing Collection - Camden Cook




Tissues, lotion, sunscreen, chapstick, soap, shampoo, and conditioner, and flip flops. These are sure to go fast at #ServiceSaturday tomorrow. Thank you, Elizabeth Athens for making this very special delivery.

Posted by Project Humanities on Friday, 30 June 2017
Service Saturdays Interview - Martine Garcia

Last Service Saturday, our Homeless Outreach Intern Angela interviewed Martine Garcia, a frequent Service Saturday volunteer. Martine is the President of the Male Empowerment Network (M.E.N.) Chapter at Arizona State University. The members of M.E.N. have contributed countless donations and volunteered biweekly to help out an unstable population in Phoenix. Watch the video below to hear why Martine and M.E.N make volunteering with Service Saturdays a priority. Visit this link: https://projecthumanities.asu.edu/service-saturdays to learn more about our upcoming Service Saturday on February 25th!

Posted by Project Humanities on Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Michelle Erxleben speaks about her experience as a homeless outreach intern this semester

Posted by Project Humanities on Friday, 5 May 2017

Angela Egan speaks about her experiences as a homeless outreach intern this semester.

Posted by Project Humanities on Friday, 5 May 2017