Downtown Phoenix's unhoused encampment 'the zone' is growing
More people are living on the streets of our cities now than they have in nearly a decade.
At the last Point in Time Homeless Count, that added up to more than 5,000 people — nearly 10,000 if you count those living in shelters. That’s nearly twice as many as the first time the count was conducted in 2016.
And hundreds of people experiencing homelessness die every year here due to a combination of factors, including the scorching summer heat.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the growing encampment full of unsheltered people near the shelter and main human services campus in downtown Phoenix. It’s been dubbed "the zone."
The Show recently got a tour of the area with a woman who knows it well and has watched it balloon.
Wendy Johnson is the director of the Justa Center, a resource center for homeless seniors there. The Show spoke with her to learn about the situation.