2022 count shows homelessness continuing to rise in Maricopa County

By Vaughan Jones, Jill Ryan
Published: Friday, March 11, 2022 - 1:17pm
Updated: Monday, March 14, 2022 - 8:50am

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Woman sitting outside next to tent
Christina Estes/KJZZ
A woman sits outside a tent at 11th Avenue and Madison Street in Phoenix on Feb. 2, 2020.

The Maricopa County 2022 Homeless Point-In-Time Count is out, and it’s not looking good.

Homelessness is up, as has been trending since at least 2014.

Glendale saw an increase of nearly 139% from 2020. Phoenix, which has the most people experiencing homelessness, is up 30%.

No count was done last year due to COVID-19, but the count has been conducted eight of the last nine years, and numbers have increased each of the last seven years.

Mesa Mayor John Giles chairs the Maricopa Association of Governments Regional Council. He says this is a regional problem that requires collective action.

“This is a wake-up call for all the cities and towns in Maricopa County. It's not, you know, just downtown Phoenix or a light rail corridor… you can't pigeonhole homelessness,” said Giles.

Giles says one of the major roadblocks for MAG is trying to provide affordable housing across the county.

“The availability and affordability of building materials, as well as the availability and affordability of labor, combined with our high growth rates, has really put a lot of pressure on housing, and particularly affordable workforce housing,” Giles said.

MAG adopted a regional action plan in December, which includes developing both temporary and permanent affordable housing options, access to medical and behavioral programs, and ongoing financial resources.

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