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Non-Profit Committee Meeting – June 11, 2024

The Mesa Chamber’s Non-Profit Vitality Committee met on June 11 to talk about the serious threat that is posed by the summer season, bringing extreme heat and its effect on homelessness. With many of our members having direct involvement in serving these vulnerable populations, including Azura Veterans Coalition (formerly the Mesa Veterans Resource Center), this was a meeting to discuss what more can be done to collaborate to help the thousands that truly suffer in summer.

Delmar Algee, Human Services Administrator with the City of Mesa, presented current City programs to help the homeless and vulnerable get out of the heat.

Citing the recent spike in deaths last year in prompting a new look at the problem, he also reminded the committee of current and improved services and resources available throughout Maricopa County, including

  • 211 resources for housing
  • Additional 30 people hired in Maricopa County for heat relief season
  • A/C & utility support services; fire department partnerships to identify need
  • New outreach/navigation providers with Phoenix Rescue Mission – 6 additional staff deployed to help out in response situations
  • Better transportation to get people to respite care
  • Resurrection Street Ministries cooling center open until 7pm M-Sat (showers, medical services, pet care, thrift store, food bank, water) – looking more like a day center (Stapley & Main)
  • United Food Bank partnership to get water; hydration donation drive
  • Emergency Home rehab, AC portable home units on a limited basis

Algee cautioned everyone to “Make sure our mindsets are correct – they aren’t just homeless. Your thoughts may initially be different ‘drug addict, mentally ill,’ however they are also someone’s brother, son, daughter.” 

The Committee also was given an update on what Azura Veterans Coalition has to offer veterans in Mesa and throughout the county, including a new wellness lounge for veterans. Executive Director Nicole Pogue also challenged the group not to forget the Coalition, the veterans and their families as often interest can wane after events. These valued servicemen and women are also subject to the dangerous heat, and with issues of mental health, homelessness and substance abuse, the spectre of suicide is often the result. She stressed, “massive change is needed for this massive hardship.”

The season for the committee itself is also one of change, as a new look is being taken on its mission and objectives. A discussion among the members revealed the need to collaborate with the larger Chamber community in order to match the needs with resources. It was pointed out that while money is always important, not to forget the “currency of collaboration” that can make the change that is needed in the community. 

Many companies that have a membership with the Chamber may not always think to bring someone that acts as a Community Engagement Coordinator to Chamber events or committees. As one member pointed out, “We are all change makers, no matter what side of the tax statement we fall on. It would make sense that we get together.”

It was agreed that it’s those individuals who can work with the nonprofits to create long term, meaningful and effective relationships. Future changes will include these ideas, and likely prompt a change to the committee’s name to include a broader audience. 

Summary provided by:  Denise Konkol

Denise Konkol is a Chamber member, assisting clients as a writer, and a financial literacy coach with Ramsey Solutions. 


Delmar M. Algee III
City of Mesa Community Services
Human Services Administrator
Office of Homeless Solutions
480.644.3695 (tel)

Deana Lopez
City of Mesa Community Services
Human Services Coordinator
480.644.5030 (tel)

Heat Relief Network