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Hugs for the Houseless offers compassion, help for Arizona's homeless

Times are tough for some and sometimes people just need more than a handout.

TEMPE, Ariz. — There are more than 7,000 homeless people throughout Maricopa County. 

Arizona State University student Austin Davis has seen it firsthand.      

“These people are human. They’re valuable and necessary,” said Davis. 

He’s also the community outreach organizer for Arizona Jews for Justice. 

Davis said he tries to put himself in their shoes.

“Most people in America are one or two bad days away from experiencing homelessness,” said Davis.

So Davis and the Arizona Jews for Justice started delivering care packages and food to the homeless but their mission, AZ Hugs for the Houseless, is much more.

“I love to provide a hug, handshakes. Anything possible to show someone I care about them,” said Davis. 

“We also bring special request items. We ask people, ‘What’s your favorite meal? What’s your favorite drink? What would bring you a little joy today?’”

The summer heat is just around the corner and Davis is asking for misting spray bottles and hand fan donations to give to the shelterless.

“I remember being with people who collapsed in the street from heat exhaustion and that’s terrifying,” said Davis.

Times are tough for some and sometimes people just need more than a handout.

“We really just aim to be a friend and to show people we care,” said Davis.

For more inspiring stories from the Valley, go to the 12 News YouTube channel: