Street Count Shows Continued Rise in Homelessness

The number of people experiencing homelessness continues to increase in Maricopa County, although the number of people on the street did decline slightly over the previous count. 2023 Point-in-Time (PIT) Report

Numbers released today from the federally mandated, one day “point-in-time” count conducted in January show 9,642 people experiencing homelessness within the region, an increase of 616 people over 2022, or an increase of about 7 percent. The unsheltered count portion identified 4,908 people living in a place not meant for human habitation, such as on the street, in desert washes, or in vehicles. This count was a decrease of 2 percent over 2022. The sheltered count, meanwhile, identified 4,734 people living in temporary housing. The sheltered count increased by 18 percent, demonstrating the investments in temporary housing made by local and tribal governments over the past year.

“These new numbers underscore the ongoing challenge we face in addressing homelessness, which continues to be of major concern to the region and a priority for MAG,” said Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Chair Kenn Weise, mayor of Avondale. “This issue matters to everyone residing in our region. Homelessness has far-reaching effects that impact individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities. It is first a human concern, but it also significantly impacts society and the economy.”

The number of people experiencing homelessness has continued to rise in recent years. The Maricopa County region has experienced increases from 2014 to 2022, which is consistent with national trends. Different methodologies may impact results over time.

“The pandemic intensified the challenges in the region, placing more people at risk of experiencing homelessness.” said Regional Maricopa Continuum of Care Board Chair Vicki Phillips, chief clinical and development officer of Community Bridges Inc. “Although additional investments are being made in temporary housing, increasing rental rates and lack of affordable housing continue to lead to overall increases in homelessness., she said.

Required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the annual Point in Time homelessness count occurs in each metropolitan region in the United States on the fourth Tuesday in January and is coordinated by each region’s Continuum of Care. MAG coordinates the Maricopa Regional count, which provides a one day-snapshot of homelessness. The count uses volunteer teams that include city, county, and state representatives; community and faith-based organizations; businesses; and private residents.

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