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Annual 'snapshot' count of homeless population finds expected increase across the Valley

Virus Outbreak California Homeless
Posted at 11:33 AM, Mar 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-11 13:33:43-05

PHOENIX — The Maricopa Association of Governments released its annual count of those experiencing homelessness in areas of the Valley Friday.

The point-in-time count was conducted on Jan. 25, 2022, by volunteers, law enforcement, and outreach workers. The new data is showing an increase from the previous year’s count, which was done in 2020. The count did not take place in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 2014, the first year of the count, the number of people experiencing homelessness has risen from 1,053 to 5,029. The actual number may be even higher, upwards of 7,000 or more, according to recent data and surveys.

Phoenix had the highest estimated number of unsheltered people at nearly 3,100 on the given night. The cities with the second- and third-highest numbers were Mesa at 451 individuals and Glendale at 406 individuals.

See the full count results here.

Cities around the Valley were anticipating a jump in the number of people experiencing homelessness due to a gap in 2021 and added financial struggles due to the pandemic, eviction moratorium changes, and the economy.

Last year, the MAG Regional Council approved a plan for local and tribal governments to help improve the situation. ABC15 reported late last year about The Pathways Home regional action plan — the first-ever collaborative regional approach to addressing homelessness and backers are hoping it's the starting point in a significant reduction in homelessness.

If you’d like to help the homeless population in the Valley:

  • Healthy Giving Council, "a coalition of public, private, non-profit, and faith-based groups that provides healthy ways to give year-round."
  • HandsOn Phoenix, "a nonprofit volunteer management organization. We address community needs by coordinating volunteer opportunities for individuals from all walks of life. Whether you're interested in one-time volunteer opportunities or making a long-term commitment."
  • Arizona Housing Coalition, "lead the efforts to end homelessness and advocate for safe, affordable homes for all Arizonans."