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DVC December 13, 2014 Meeting Agenda

C604RWHo Ho Ho Friends of Downtown Voices Coalition:

Time once again for DVC’s monthly Steering Committee Meeting. Please join us on Saturday, December 13, starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Roosevelt Commons Clubhouse, 825 N. 6th Avenue. This is the group’s annual holiday mixer, so we’ll try to keep business “short and sweet.” And you’re welcome to bring a holiday treat for all to enjoy.

As Santa would want, take a peek at Saturday’s DVC agenda. Who’s been naughty and who’s been nice since we last met? New items are highlighted in red. The “other” bullet points allow for new/other/just-came-up items to be discussed under each section.

Welcome & Introductions

DVC Business

  • Proposed 2014 Recap of Issues & Actions (Tim Eigo)
  • Treasurer’s Report (Louisa Stark)

Today’s Guest Speaker

  • Jonathan Koppell, Dean, ASU College of Public Programs; Lattie & Elva Coor Presidential Chair, ASU School of Public Affairs

Development Updates

  • Jefferson Hotel/Barrister Place (Mark Davis)
  • Containers on Grand (Kathleen Santin)
  • Other

Community/Neighborhood Updates

  • City Observatory Report on High Poverty Neighborhoods
  • Central Arizona Shelter Services Overflow (Capitol Mall)
  • Airport Flight Pattern Changes (various downtown neighborhoods)
  • State Fairgrounds (Fairview Place)
  • Status of Ted DeGrazia Murals, 222 E. Roosevelt (Evans Churchill)
  • Hance Park (Evans Churchill)
  • Other

Transportation/Streetscape Updates

  • City of Phoenix Ordinance Review re trees, trees, trees
  • Transit Open Data Release
  • Other

New/Other Business

  • PlanPHX “next steps”
  • Other

Adjournment… to holiday mixer

At any time you’re welcome to check out our Downtown Phoenix Community Calendar, online here. If you know of events to add to the calendar, please send us an email.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday! Thanks for all that you do for our community. Happy Holidays!

Tim Eigo

Chair, Steering Committee

Downtown Voices Coalition

Metro Phoenix homeless count up 20% from 2008

[Source: Yvonne Wingett, Arizona Republic] — More single adults, families, and youths are living on the streets in metro Phoenix.  A Maricopa Association of Governments survey counted 2,918 homeless people throughout the county this year, a 20 percent increase from the 2,426 counted in 2008.  The Homeless Street Count found 230 families living on the streets, up 370 percent from last year’s count of 49 families.  The number of youths living on their own rose to 139, more than triple last year’s count. 

Each January, hundreds of agency workers, police officers, city employees and volunteers hit the streets to count the homeless.  Their findings are used to request federal funding for homeless services and to improve and expand services for non-profits.  This year’s increase in the homeless population comes after a 15 percent decline a year ago, said Brande Mead, a human-services planner with the Maricopa Association of Governments.

The count does not include the number of people living in shelters, which numbered nearly 5,000 last year, she said.  The state Department of Economic Security is conducting this year’s shelter survey; the results could be available early next week, Mead said.

The bad economy is to blame for the increase in the homeless population, experts said.  “We’re seeing more elderly, more disabled (homeless),” said Mark Holleran, CEO of Central Arizona Shelter Services, or CASS, in downtown Phoenix.  “It just appears to be the overall result of what’s happening… with the loss of jobs and the shaky economy” and with government agencies cutting back.  There is also an uptick in the number of homeless veterans, Holleran said, which he thinks could further increase as a result of the war in Iraq.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Phoenix police, shelter reach out to troubled homeless people

[Source: Lindsey Collom, Arizona Republic] — Cecilia didn’t look up. A man who was with her had slinked away into the darkness, leaving a broken crack pipe and Cecilia alone to answer police and social workers. She rummaged through a tote filled with papers and other clutter, ignoring the headlights that broke the night and illuminated her campsite of boxes and bags on a central Phoenix roadside.

Homeless-shelter operators, on a regular nighttime sweep of downtown, said they often found Cecilia sleeping on the streets, even though she had an apartment. “For a long time, we’re just kind of thinking she was lonely,” said Sean Bonnette, a shelter manager at Central Arizona Shelter Services, Arizona’s largest homeless shelter. “She’d just come out here and stash stuff. She wants to sit out here….It’s hard to teach someone to not be homeless.”

Service providers and Phoenix police have joined forces to attack chronic homelessness by reaching out to those who won’t ask for assistance. A team of Phoenix police and CASS specialists has been crisscrossing downtown Phoenix four nights a week to engage homeless people who have severed connections with service providers and are drowning in mental illness or substance abuse. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Metro Phoenix homeless population growing

[Source: Dennis Lambert, KTAR Radio] — The Valley’s homeless population is growing.  Mark Holleran of Central Arizona Shelter Services said the population at the shelter in downtown Phoenix has jumped from about 550 a night to more than 1,000 over the last three years.   “Our numbers have grown probably 10 percent in the last year alone,” Holleran said.  “We think absolutely that it’s economy driven.

“The real problem I have right now is not serving people when they come in, but figuring out where they’re going to go to.  My job is to move them through the shelter system as quickly as possible.”  Eight percent of those seeking services are single adults, many of whom have addiction and correction issues, Holleran said.  CASS turns away homeless families every day because there’s simply not enough room.