[Source: Sadie Jo Smokey, Arizona Republic] — They’ll walk. They’ll share a meal. And hopefully, they’ll challenge the preconceived notions and myths about people who are experiencing homelessness. This week, a coalition of 11 service providers, faith-based organizations, and non-profits which make up the Homelessness Awareness Coalition, will do their part to raise knowledge on the complex issue. Their lofty goal, to end homelessness in Maricopa County.
According to Brian Spicker of Valley of the Sun United Way, about 8,000 individuals experience homelessness each day in Maricopa County and 14 percent of Arizona’s population lives in poverty. More and more families and individuals are turning to Valley providers for assistance. Lack of financial resources, eviction and job loss are the three most common reasons given by persons entering shelters. “Homelessness impacts diverse people,” Spicker said. “It’s not just a Phoenix issue. It’s a Valley-wide issue. At our last Homeless Connect, 25 percent of attendees were newly homeless.” [Note: Read the full article at Coalition raises community awareness of metro Phoenix homelessness.]