Just blocks from the glitz and glamour of downtown Phoenix, Arizona are homeless people living in squalid campsites in absolutely deplorable conditions. The campsite is located near the intersection of 7th avenue and Grant Road in Phoenix.
There are around a dozen human beings living at this particular homeless campsite with a total of 8 tents set up on a vacant business lot, next to the railroad tracks. In most of these cases the shelters are nothing more than tarps attached to a chain link defense to block the sun.
People here suffer from a variety of symptoms consistent with trauma and abuse. Others have serious substance abuse issues and mental health challenges which are not being addressed at this time. There are also individuals here who are indicating they have medical needs as well.
On this occasion I passed out “211” community resource connector cards asking people to engage in services by calling that number and requesting emergency housing, food and medical assistance.
The problem they tell me stems from the recent closure of the overflow shelter at CASS (Central Arizona Shelter Services). They simply have no where else to go.
The CASS overflow shelter used to serve almost 300 homeless people a night. Where did those people go? Many were pushed out into the community where they risk more frequent negative contacts with local law enforcement.
See related video: Closure of the Men’s Overflow Shelter (MOS) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53XHW6QCVdE
See background report: Downtown Phoenix shelters crowded with homeless https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9ph2y-DOyI
See video: Many of these people where victims of the downturn in the economy. See video: Economic Collapse The Homeless Of Phoenix Arizona https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU44QH635fo