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Maricopa County homeless population sees small decline

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(The Center Square) – The annual point-in-time count of homeless conducted by the Maricopa Association of Governments presented stabilized news for the county.

The count that took place in January 2024 determined that there are 9,435 people who are experiencing homelessness in the county, 57% of which are sheltered and 43% are unsheltered. This figure was a 2% decline from 2023, which marked 9,642 people as homeless. When broken down, there was a 17% decline from 2023 in unsheltered and a 13% increase in those who were sheltered.

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs commented on the report in a media availability on Thursday.

“Obviously, the solutions we’re seeing aren’t necessarily overnight fixes. Again, we are making progress. We’re seeing rents stabilizing as well. I think that’s been helpful,” the Democrat said.

“And we’re doing more to provide direct services to folks who are homeless to hopefully get them out of that situation,” she continued.

Sixty-three percent of those experiencing homelessness were men. When looking at race, 49% of people overall in the count were marked down as white, 29% as Black, African American or African, and 12% as Hispanic or Latino.

Of the 4,076 unsheltered county-wide, Phoenix had the highest count, with 2,701. That’s a decrease from 3,333 last year. The second highest was Mesa with 309 people. Tempe and Glendale also had over 200 people each marked as unsheltered, according to the report. Of those who were sheltered, it was considered “emergency shelter.”

For veterans, there was a 13% decrease in those facing the issue. Young adults aged 18-24 also saw a downtick.

2023 was a big year when it came to the homelessness crisis in Arizona, particularly for the city of Phoenix. The city had to get rid of a large homeless encampment impacting local businesses in downtown Phoenix following a lawsuit, The Center Square reported in November.

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