Stop Displacing & Start Helping Phoenix Unsheltered People

Stop Displacing & Start Helping Phoenix Unsheltered People

1,613 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!
Stacey Champion started this petition to Jeff Barton - City Manager CITY OF PHOENIX and

Homelessness is at an all-time high in Maricopa County and only rising. Though it is a complex issue, the affordable housing crisis, high eviction rate and ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have worsened and exacerbated this public health crisis, with more than 500 unsheltered people losing their lives per year in Maricopa County alone. The heat deaths have dramatically risen each year as well, and those of us who do direct street outreach in Phoenix, Arizona have saved more than one life in triple digit temps while millions of dollars have poured in to "help" people and many government buildings remain closed to the public.

In downtown Phoenix, around what's referred to as "The Zone," which is the area surrounding the Human Services Campus, hundreds of people are living and sleeping on the streets with nowhere to go.

Though the city previously did one time per week clean ups, or "sweeps," in April of 2020 the City increased these to 3 x per week under the guise of Covid-19 for "health and safety" of those living on the streets, even though these folks haven't been provided with the most basic sanitation amenities like bathrooms or water. During these "clean ups," everyone is forced to pick up and move all of their belongings. Here is a recent news story about it. This practice has been, and continues to be both cruel and in direct contradiction to the CDC's Covid-19 guidelines for unsheltered communities.

In the fall of 2020, the City of Phoenix spent more than $300k in Cares Act funding to install poles and chains around the easements between the street and sidewalk throughout this neighborhood to prohibit people from camping/sleeping in these spaces, even though it is in direct violation of a Supreme Court ruling surrounding the criminalization of homelessness. People are currently crammed together in the few spaces without chains and poles, and Phoenix PD continues to harass folks, asking them to move, even though there ISN'T anywhere for them to move, and Phoenix PD is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for this behavior as well as throwing away unsheltered people's few possessions.

Due to all of the above, we, the people, demand the following protections and amenities for our vulnerable unsheltered neighbors in the City of Phoenix IMMEDIATELY.

  1. No further displacement of people or their tents during city "clean ups" at unsheltered encampments. Allow people to SHELTER IN PLACE, pushing their trash to the street for disposal, in accordance with the CDC Covid-19 guidelines for unsheltered people.
  2. Provide a SUFFICIENT number of bathrooms and handwashing stations for those living on the street due to the City's own lack of low barrier + regular shelter beds, transitional and affordable housing units and resources. These amenities were previously provided by HSC when the County lots were open, but were then taken away, and there are far more people living on the streets now. At least TWO "amenity stations" should be provided -- one near the 12th Ave. camp, and one near the 9th Ave. camp that are accessible 24/7.
  3. Provide access to clean, potable water at both amenity stations. Water is the most basic human need, and for hundreds of people, many of whom are older, take medications, etc. to not have 24/7 access to water -- for drinking, cleaning, cooking, bathing -- is simply inhumane.
  4. Remove chains and poles and No Trespassing signs to allow people more space to spread out, especially in light of the contagiousness of the Omicron variant. There are many areas where these chains, poles and signs could be removed (like all along both 9th and 12th Avenues) that would not disrupt businesses. 
  5. Provide additional garbage cans/dumpsters and empty more often, as the few dumpsters in the area are often overflowing.
  6. Provide the people living on the street with push brooms, dust pans, cleaning supplies, large garbage bags, masks and hand sanitizer. Utilize the surrounding organizations like Andre House to keep/pass out additional supplies. (People ask for these items regularly.)
  7. Provide a safe, dry storage solution for people's extra belongings. I also know this was provided when the County lots were open, but was then taken away, so this would also be a good proactive measure to minimize the amount of "stuff" on the street.
  8. Reiterate to Phoenix PD the need to stop harassing unsheltered people as well as those who do street outreach.
  9. Install more pedestrian signage or additional measures to protect pedestrians attempting to cross Jefferson, especially at the 10th Avenue and 12th Avenue crosswalks. Cars are traveling at high speeds down Jefferson and are NOT slowing/stopping for those in the crosswalks. 
  10. Be more open to creative solutions such as THIS. I would be more than happy to lead a project like this to help save/protect lives while the clock ticks on your new $2.5 Mil "sprung structure" plus additional shelter beds. People need relief NOW, and many cities have great examples of creative solutions that include treating people with dignity + compassion, unlike the City of Phoenix.
1,613 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!