What you need to know about teen homelessness in Arizona

Jul 23, 2021 Company

The Arizona Department of Public Safety says that in the past two years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of juvenile and adult homeless people in Phoenix.

According to a new report from the Phoenix Police Department, there have been over 1,100 reported incidents of youth homelessness in the city in the first half of this year alone.

This is the second consecutive year that the number has jumped, as the city has seen an uptick in youth homelessness this year. 

According to the police report, there were nearly 1,000 homeless people, or almost one out of every five residents of Phoenix, on the streets of the city, but only a few hundred people were housed in any of the four shelters currently available in the community.

The majority of the homeless were young men and women between the ages of 14 and 24, who were housed at two facilities that were shut down due to high occupancy rates and inadequate staffing.

In one of the two facilities, the police reported that there were about 300 people living in an area that was roughly one square mile, with only three beds available.

The report notes that the situation in Phoenix is far from ideal, and that there needs to be more investment in the shelter system. 

“In addition to funding more homeless services, the City of Phoenix must also develop policies that help increase shelter occupancy and reduce youth homelessness,” the report said. 

It is unclear how many of the residents who are sleeping on the street in Phoenix are homeless, and the police department doesn’t yet have a timeline for when the first shelters will reopen.

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