Red heart in hands

The Rest Stop Developed by CAC Adjunct Faculty Member Serves Homeless

By Angela Askey, Executive Director Public Relations and Marketing

Central Arizona College adjunct reading professor, Melanie Velcko and her husband Chris created “The Rest Stop” to serve homeless residents in Casa Grande and Eloy.

“Our inspiration for the rest stop came from an older gentleman who was always standing, with his little dog, by the Taco Bell,” stated Melanie. I would give him money, socks, dog food and other items to help him.” She added, “We decided we could do more to help the homeless in town.”

For the past year, more than 80 people each month have been given a quart-sized zip lock baggie with various hygiene items such as shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste. In addition, water bottles and gallon-sized bags containing granola bars, tuna packets and other ready to eat items are handed out.

“Everyone we have helped is very grateful,” explained Melanie. “Even though we write grants to assist with our funding, we rely on donations of supplies and water or private donations of cash in order to continue providing this service to our homeless. Additionally, we participate in Amazon Smile and Fry’s Community Rewards. We are very appreciative of any assistance we can get.”

In April 2018, “The Rest Stop” earned their non-profit 501c3 status. Their goal is to acquire a building including temporary showers and laundry facilities with set daytime hours.