Maricopa County's largest emergency shelter looking for warm clothing donations
As the first day of winter approaches on Wednesday, the Valley is getting colder, and thousands of people remain unsheltered and on the streets. Maricopa County’s biggest emergency shelter is asking for help.
Central Arizona Shelter Services, or CASS, is looking for warm clothing donations as desert nights start heading into the low 40s and 30s more frequently.
CASS CEO Lisa Glow says the shelter recently increased their bed capacity from 470 to 600 beds, but that still leaves thousands outside.
“We have a homeless crisis that is getting worse, which means we need more housing, we need more shelter. We’re working on that, governments are working on that, but things are not getting better, they’re getting worse. But fortunately a lot of people are working on the problem," Glow said.
Meanwhile, dangerous situations are occurring, in the downtown Phoenix area, as people try to keep warm.
"One of things that’s been happening in the large encampment downtown is people start fires and that’s caused some problems, some tents have caught on fire. So we want to avoid that from happening as well,” Glow said.
Glow says over the years they have expanded their outreach, but more still needs to be done. According to the county’s Point-In-Time count, an estimate of the number of people experiencing homelessness at any given time, unsheltered homeless has increased 34% in the last two years.
For more information on how to donate, visit cassaz.org/help/ or call 602-256-6945 or TTY 800-367-8939