Phoenix to Start Clearing Downtown Homeless Camp

Image copyright: Gabe Cohen, CNN

The Facts

  • Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Scott Blaney ruled Monday that city officials must act quickly to find accommodation for the hundreds of homeless camping out in a large stretch of downtown Phoenix, commonly known as “The Zone.”

  • After the judge ruled in favor of neighbors and business owners who sued the city — calling the encampment an illegal “public nuisance" — Phoenix must permanently clear the encampment.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

The city of Phoenix remains committed to addressing the needs of all residents and property owners, and to upholding the law. Phoenix will continue to work with organizations that provide safe indoor spaces and resources for people in need to help end their homelessness.

Establishment-critical narrative

Phoenix has been sued by groups that contend the city's police force has engaged in unfair practices toward its homeless population. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona has leveled allegations that the city of Phoenix's policies "criminalize" homelessness and the US Department of Justice is even investigating the Phoenix Police Department over claims that it unlawfully seizes or disposes of the homeless' belongings. The city's attitude towards the homeless population requires serious scrutiny.

Nerd narrative

There is a 40% chance that the total number of people staying in NYC homeless shelters exceeds 100,000 on any day in 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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