Phoenix/ Politics & Govt
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Published on May 23, 2024
Phoenix Sees Homelessness Decline as Shelter Numbers Rise, Point-in-Time Count RevealsSource: City of Phoenix

The city of Phoenix has made headway in its battle against homelessness, as new figures show a drop in the streets' unsheltered and an uptick in those finding refuge in shelters. The Maricopa Association of Governments unveiled data from its 2024 Point-in-Time Count, indicating a significant 19% decrease in unsheltered individuals in Phoenix—from 3,333 in 2023 to 2,701 this year. This positive trend is linked to the city’s push to expand shelter space and facilitate access to vital services.

“This year’s Point-in-Time count demonstrates that the work we’ve done to expand shelter options is making a measurable difference,” Mayor Kate Gallego said in a statement obtained by the City of Phoenix's official newsroom. Despite the progress, the total number of people experiencing homelessness has seen only a slight decline, the numbers indicate a move in the right direction.

Mayor Gallego emphasized that, while the unsheltered count remains uncomfortably high, the city's efforts are bearing fruit in the mission to secure stable housing for residents. The Point-in-Time Homeless Count, as part of its national initiative, records the number of homeless individuals both on the streets and in shelters during one night each year.

Sheltered homelessness experiences an encouraging rise of 15%—from 3,569 to 4,115. “While we know shelter alone does not solve homelessness, it is a crucial first step for many people to connect with the right resources and support to end their homelessness,” said Rachel Milne, Phoenix Homeless Solutions Director. The city continues to advance its agenda, planning an additional 790 beds over the next two years, including a substantial 280-bed navigation center slated for West Phoenix.

Following this trajectory, the local government's commitment remains undeterred, with ongoing collaborations and investments in shelter creation, housing opportunities, and supportive services. As the city heightens its provisions, the community awaits further developments in the persistent struggle against homelessness.