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Díaz and Montini: Criminalizing the unsheltered won't solve the complex problem of homelessness

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Monday, February 27, 2023 - 12:31pm
Updated: Monday, February 27, 2023 - 12:51pm

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homelessness and heat
Katherine Davis-Young/KJZZ
An 69-year-old unsheltered Phoenix man gathers his belongings in summer 2022.

The number of people experiencing homelessness increase exponentially in recent years in the Phoenix area — and that means there are more homeless encampments popping up all over the Valley and more people with signs on street corners asking for help.

It’s harder to ignore the people who are living unsheltered.  But there are not enough shelter beds in the Valley for all of the people who need them.

They’re not committing a crime simply by living unsheltered — that is, unless some of Arizona lawmakers get their way. Some leaders want to take a punitive approach to addressing homelessness that E.J. Montini says is a mistake

Montini is a longtime columnist for the Arizona Republic, and he joined editorial page editor Elvia Diaz on The Show to talk about it.

Elvia Díaz
Arizona Republic
Elvia Díaz

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