Phoenix Homeless Plan Strategies: Outreach, Cleanup, Conduct

By Christina Estes, Lauren Gilger
Published: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 9:04pm
Updated: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 12:18pm

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man lugging belongings
Christina Estes/KJZZ
People were told to break down tents and collect their belongings so Phoenix crews could clear and clean streets on Feb. 5, 2020.

Business owners, residents, social service providers and others will get the chance to offer feedback on Phoenix’s first comprehensive plan to address homeless solutions. During Tuesday's City Council meeting, staff presented strategies focused on nine areas. They include:

  • Outreach/navigation.
  • Housing.
  • Workforce development.
  • Mental health.
  • Neighborhoods.
  • Encampment cleanups.
  • Policy solutions.
  • Communication.
  • Data.

It’s a plan Angela Ojile is watching closely. She represents the Madison Pioneers Coalition, a group of residents and businesses dealing with the impacts of encampments around their properties. She wants Phoenix to add shelter space beyond the 13-acre Human Services Campus that’s located between downtown and the state capitol complex. 

“If you’re out of a job and you live in Mesa and you get dumped down at 11th Avenue and Madison it’s not necessarily a good thing for you,” she said. “If you want to get back into your community, get some day work and not be on a bus all day, it’s important to be in the neighborhood you want to get reconnected to.”  

Some people, like Jay Minich with Andre House of Arizona, expressed concern about policy changes like trespassing codes of conduct for city parks and facilities.

“I would just like to see us first maybe look to compassion, to say can we shelter people while we’re figuring all this out, right? While we’re getting the suburban communities to do more,  while we’re increasing affordable housing,” he said.

The council directed staff to publicly share the plan this summer, gather input and return to the council for final approval this fall.

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