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Latest News

February 3, 2021: Mayor, Council Approve Additional Beds for Those Experiencing Homelessness​

City Council took the a step toward adjusting zoning restrictions to add new shelter beds at the Human Services Campus (HSC) located near 13th Ave. and Madison St.

Today's decision will increase total shelter beds at Central Arizona Shelter Services by 275 to bring the available total number to 700. In addition, the vote will allow St. Vincent de Paul to continue operating 200 beds during extreme weather.

Maricopa County is home to nearly 7,500 individuals experiencing homelessness. More than half of those people lack adequate shelter, and that number is growing steadily.  While this is a problem throughout the county and state, homelessness is principally addressed in the city of Phoenix and with local non-profit partners.  Currently, there are approximately 1,800 shelter beds available in Maricopa County with 83 percent of those beds are located in the city of Phoenix. With the newly added beds the city of Phoenix will have 1,788 available shelter beds.  

Today's action is part of the city's ongoing, longstanding work to meet the needs of those in our community experiencing homelessness. This includes efforts to not only assist those currently lacking shelter, but also those struggling to stay in their homes as the city works to provide more affordable housing options. Here is a snapshot of city initiatives and aid to Phoenicians in need this past fiscal year:

  • $80 million for pandemic shelter beds and other COVID-related assistance

  • $10 million to purchase a hotel to house homeless military veterans

  • Summer heat relief at the Phoenix Convention Center

  • Refurbished public housing increasing access to affordable energy-efficient apartments

  • Rent and mortgage assistance 

  • $20 million annually for city services related to homelessness, including services providing shelter for 5,430 individuals and families

  • Leveraging a $30 million grant from United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to build 1,011 mixed income affordable housing units

  • Partnerships with community organizations including UMOM, CPLC, Native American Connections, Justa Center, St. Vincent de Paul and others.

You can read more about these efforts and how the specific funds are being spent in the PHX Newsroom. ​


February 3, 2021: City Invests in Solutions for Homelessness 

The City of Phoenix is investing millions of dollars to meet the needs of those in our community experiencing homelessness. This includes efforts to not only assist those currently lacking shelter, but also those struggling to stay in their homes as the city works to provide more affordable housing options. 

The city has committed $20 million from the 2020-2021 fiscal budget and more than $150 million in federal grant funding to these issues.  The money is used to help thousands of Phoenicians find shelter, work and long-term solutions to the challenges of homelessness.​ 

You can read more about these efforts and how the specific funds are being spent in the PHX Newsroom. ​

January 15, 2021: City Manager Appoints Homeless Strategies Taskforce

City Manager, Ed ​Z​uercher, appointed 18 individuals representing stakeholders, businesses and neighborhoods to the Strategies to Addresses Homelessness Plan Taskforce that will begin meeting monthly with the new year. The members include, Dawn Marie Augusta from Arizona State University, Jessica Bueno from the Oakland Neighborhood Association, Ken Curry from Southwest Behavioral Health, Dr. Sheila Harris from the Phoenix Community Alliance, Matt Kelly from Mercy Care, Barbra Lewkowitz a private consultant and former CEO of Justa Center, Caroline Lobo from theHUB, Bill Morlan from the Madison Pioneer Coalition, Darlene Newsome the former CEO UMOM, Jerome Parker from the Healthy Giving, Geraldo Pena from Chicanos Por La Causa, Julie Reed a neighborhood leader, Nate Rhoton from One•n•ten, Nathan Smith from the Phoenix Rescue Mission, Jeff Spellman a neighborhood leader, Craig Tribken from the Central Arizona Shelter Services, Ash Uss from the From the Ground up Consulting and DeDe Yazzie Devine from Native American Connections.​


November 9, 2020: Remember to Stay Home and Give Smart to Help those Experiencing Homelessness 


“This has been a challenging year to accomplish things that we normally take for granted. One of the ways many people choose to give back to our community during the holiday season is by giving to those experiencing homelessness on the street.  Unfortunately, this can put our most vulnerable community members at risk of getting COVID-19.  Maricopa County Department of Public Health asks that you give to people experiencing homelessness in other ways this holiday season. Please visit www.givesmartaz.org​ to find healthy ways to provide support for our community," said Marcy Flanagan, Executive Director Maricopa County Department of Public Health. ​

The Healthy Giving Council (HGC) was formed in 2017 to educate and encourage the community on productive and sustainable giving efforts for those living on the streets. Since then, the HGC has participated in several events to help share the message of “giving smart" with “more than a meal." During this time, organizations, faith-based groups, and caring community members have united in the healthy giving mission and joined the HGC to create awareness of more impactful ways to give.

As you prepare for the holiday season and are considering where to donate and give back, please keep in mind that by street giving, you satisfy hunger for the moment, but unintentionally withhold people from seeking assistance from organizations that not only can provide a hot meal in a safe environment, but who also provide supportive services that can help end homelessness. Street giving creates crowds which puts an already vulnerable population's health at risk. It keeps people on the streets and negatively impacts communities. This year learn how to give back in healthy ways by visiting www.givesmartaz.org and create real, long-lasting change.​


October 27, 2020: ​​​Phoenix City Council Unanimously ​Approves Proposed Strategies to Address Homelessness Plan

During the October 27 Policy Session, Phoenix City Cou​ncil (video) the City Council unanimoulsy approved the city's revised Strategies to Address Homelessness Plan (PDF)​.

Part of the initial strategies will be developing a taskforce appointed by the City Manager of services providers, neighborhood leaders, homeless advocates and city staff to implement and guide the strategies.  

This webpage will also be transitioning to a reporting site for the plan and information surrounding efforts being taken by the city to address homelessness. 

​​June 24, 2020: Phoenix City Council Requests Public Input on City's Strategies to Address Homelessness Plan

During the June 23 Policy Session, Phoenix City Cou​ncil (video) requested public input on the city's proposed Strategies to Address Homelessness Plan (English PDF)​ (Spanish PDF) that focuses on service priorities and sustainable solutions for both those experiencing homelessness and the community impacted by encampments. ​​​

​Welcome​​Homelessness Camp

In January 2020, the annual Point-in-Time (PIT) Count (PDF)​ was performed across Maricopa County. This annual street and shelter count is an effort to learn more about the individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the county.

This year 7,419 people experiencing homelessness were counted. Of those, 51 percent were unsheltered. The unsheltered count has been steadily increasing over the years. From 2019-20 the unsheltered count increased 18 percent at a higher rate than the sheltered and overall PIT counts. 

The city of Phoenix is part of the Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care (CoC). The CoC Board is the decision-making body for the Continuum of Care. Members of the Board include local officials, service provider agencies, formerly homeless individuals, and advocates. The Board addresses regional issues relating to homelessness and approves the annual application for homeless assistance funding to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and addresses regional issues relating to homelessness. Aligned with the goals of HUD’s Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act, the Board works toward ending homelessness by focusing on rapid transition to housing solutions.

History

Family

The city of Phoenix has invested in preventing and ending homelessness since 1982 when urban camps emerged in the downtown area.

In the spring of 1985, the Phoenix City Council approved the development of Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS), the first emergency shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness at 12th Ave. and Madison St.

Two decades later, the Human Services Campus (HSC), a $23 million non-profit, private, government and community collaboration that provides wrap-around services for​ adults experiencing homelessness, was built on the 10-acres surrounding CASS. The founding members of the HSC collaboration intended the downtown location to be one of many across the region. 

Today, the downtown location remains the largest access point for homeless services and hosts nearly 20 independent agencies that offer a range of services. CASS remains the largest emergency shelter in Arizona. 

Recently, the HSC submitted a special permit rezoning request to add additional beds and expand the boundaries of the campus. The expansion area includes Andre House, to allow for a low barrier shelter. HSC has had several neighborhood meetings related to this request. The rezoning request has not been scheduled for public hearings yet. ​​

2019-20 City Efforts to Address Homelessness

The city of Phoenix spends almost $20 million annually (PDF)​​ for services related to homeless solutions across several city departments. ​​Of that $20 million, Phoenix dedicates over $4 million for services* to assist those experiencing homelessness through community-based providers. 

Direct services include:

· Homeless outreach and engagement

· Veteran navigation and coordination

· Emergency shelter

· Rent and utility deposits assistance

· Wrap-around support

· Permanent supportive housing

· Eviction prevention and utility assistance ​

Also, the city of Phoenix received $293 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to navigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. See how the city has used these funds to help residents and businesses in the city of Phoenix, including those experiencing homelessness.​​​ 

Community Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

• Call us at 602-262-7830
• Email HomelessHelp@Phoenix.gov

Note when you submit an email it falls under the city's policy which states that the email message is: (1) subject to public disclosure under the Public Records Law, (2) is not private or confidential and (3) is retained for 90 days.