Neighbors say former Phoenix golf course attracting more and more homeless people

Posted at 11:37 PM, Sep 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-24 02:37:37-04

Neighbors say an abandoned golf course is becoming prime real estate for homeless people in Phoenix. They say the area near 19th Avenue and Northern has become more than an eyesore; it's dangerous.

Tara Brown says drug deals go down in plain sight, people are having sex in public and there are continued break-ins.

"There are needles, seals everywhere, adult diapers, clothes, trash," said Brown.

Homelessness is not a new problem in the area, but she says it’s become noticeably worse over the last six months to a year. Brown believes the closure of overflow shelters in downtown Phoenix and the extension of the light rail have led to the increased activity.

"Where are they supposed to go? But they're volatile and they're doing a lot of criminal acts,” said Brown.

She says calling police is part of her daily routine but often feels her complaints fall on deaf ears.

“These people need help and we're tired of being preyed upon," she said.

Maricopa County officials say homelessness has increased 27 percent but insist workers are doing more than ever, with $5 million in spending this year to get hundreds of people off the street.

Phoenix police say the understaffed department doesn't have the resources to engage in preventative policing efforts.

However, police encourage anyone with these problems to continue to call 911, file a report every time and ask your apartment management to enroll in the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program.