Phoenix Rescue Mission develops kits to prevent drug overdose

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - We tell you about it every year, the Code Red Heat Relief Campaign. During the summer months, when temperatures soar into the triple digits, life on the streets goes from unbearable to deadly. The Phoenix Rescue Mission heads out to hand out cold water, toiletry kits, and other items that protect from the weather. The group recently started handing out something else that can save a life.

Rich Heitz is on a mission. He and his partner are hoping to reach as many as people as possible.

"This morning we're going to Sunnyslope," Heitz said. "Sunnyslope is known for all different types of drug activity - heroine, meth, coke, whatever."

The team will hand out water and hygiene kits - which is what the Phoenix Rescue Mission is so well-known for.

There's also the Naloxone Kit - which is to syringes and two viles of naloxone. So far, the Hope Coach has handed out 137 kits in two months.

"What [the kit] does is, basically, [it's] injected into someone who's experiencing an overdose and it reverses the effects, hoping that it's not too late," a Hope Coach staffer said.

Heitz is a case manager for the street outreach team. It's his experience that speaks so loudly to the men and women who are homeless who use and abuse drugs.

"When I was out there at that time [I was] 22, I didn't have people out there asking me questions like that," Heitz said. "I know where you're coming from. I did these streets- everything on the streets. It's [not] good for [any] of us."

The Phoenix Rescue Mission says teams will do what it takes to not only save lives but to change them as well.

The Hope Coach staff hasn't used the kits on anyone but they're legally allowed to administer if they come across someone overdosing.