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Homeless Encampment Challenges Policy Makers in Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona is struggling to deal with a growing homeless camp in a revitalizing area near the city's Downtown.
January 6, 2018, 6am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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A man fishes in the lake at Encanto Park in Phoenix.
Gregory E. Clifford

"In between new high-rise towers filled with high-priced apartments and condos in downtown Phoenix sits a residential enclave of another sort: a camp set up by at least a dozen people in a triangle-shaped median," reports Richard Ruelas.

"Flummoxed" by the challenge of responding to the camp, the city recently decided that the camp is illegal, deciding that "the area was governed by an ordinance against urban camping."

"In a statement, the city called the gathering an 'illegal homeless encampment' that threatened the public health and safety," according to Ruelas.

The article includes interview with some of the people living in the camp, including a Marine Corps veteran. Part of the story of the homeless camp is its position on a parcel adorned with public art surrounded by signs of urban revitalization. Expensive apartment buildings have recently opened on blocks adjacent to the parcel.

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Published on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 in AZ Central
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