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People are being evicted from 'The Zone,' but many have nowhere to go

By Jill Ryan
Published: Monday, June 12, 2023 - 12:21pm
Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2023 - 8:03am

Tents lining a street in the Zone homeless encampment in downtown Phoenix
Tim Agne/KJZZ
Tents lining a street in “The Zone” homeless encampment in downtown Phoenix in March 2023.

Systematic disbursement of the largest homeless encampment in Phoenix, known as “The Zone,” is underway. 

Austin Davis of AZ Hugs for the Houseless says despite officials offering alternative shelter, there is not enough to go around–and no plan B. Davis says when people at last resort are allowed to safely camp, they can share resources while they wait.

“If someone is overdosing there is really likely that someone at the camp has Narcan. If someone is heat exhausted, it’s very likely someone has water they can share with you or food or a blanket," Davis said. 

The Zone formed near the Human Services Campus, which is surrounded by industrial and commercial districts. This makes it hard to expand temporary or emergency housing. 

The Zone in Phoenix
Katherine Davis-Young/KJZZ
A sign notifies homeless residents in May 2023 they will no longer be allowed to camp in an area of downtown Phoenix known as "The Zone. "

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