Scottsdale and Mesa combat homeless crisis with temporary housing hotel programs

Christine Stanwood
4 Min Read

MESA, AZ — “I strongly recommend that you verify sobriety with every single person that is in this program,” said Scottsdale resident, Jeff Taylor.

Taylor received applause from a crowd at Wednesday evening’s Appropriations Subcommittee on Budgetary Funding Formulas hearing at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library.

Fellow Scottsdale resident, Tammy Smith pleaded, “Please, as you explore these options, and we all have a compassionate heart, please have that measure of success. How long are you tracking the success? Because right now, there’s no tracking.”

Taylor and Smith are one of the many who voiced their opinions about temporarily housing those experiencing homelessness in hotels in Scottsdale.

District 4 Representative, Matt Gress, represents much of the City of Scottsdale. He called Wednesday’s hearing so the community could share their thoughts and ask questions to local leaders after the City of Scottsdale agreed to convert hotel rooms into a temporary shelter.

The City of Scottsdale got a $1 million grant from the state to help with homeless programs.

Representative Gress has been vocal about his opposition to the hotel program.

“I will not allow the disastrous policies of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and even Phoenix seep its way into our community homelessness,” Gress said Wednesday.

He continues, “Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis, but it’s also a public safety crisis. Today’s hearing seeks to address the tragic reality of homelessness.”

Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega was also in attendance Wednesday. He says their current hotel program has a 70% success rate, with 84 out of 120 clients.

Mayor Ortega says the city will not take Title 42 or “Zone” clients. He says the City of Scottsdale’s focus is on their veterans, families, and children.

Across the Valley, the City of Mesa also held a planning and zoning meeting on Wednesday. The city says they’ve seen success with their “Off the Streets Program.”

The City of Mesa says three out of four people who graduate from it don’t return to homelessness, and a hotel program is part of this.

In fact, the city says they’re looking to expand it with a hotel near Main Street and Power Road.

There are 85 rented rooms at the Wyndemere Hotel and as of May, 1,700 people have been helped.

Meanwhile, “The Zone” in Phoenix, has seen eight block by block cleanup efforts, where hundreds sleep on the streets.

The City of Phoenix confirms nine more required cleanups are planned, as part of an ongoing lawsuit by business owners in the area.

Christine Stanwood

2023-09-14 01:41:57 , Scottsdale News

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