Phoenix Approves More Beds for Homeless Shelter
The Phoenix City Council has approved an additional 275 beds for Arizona’s largest homeless shelter.
On Wednesday, council members agreed to the zoning change that will eventually allow up to 700 beds for the homeless at the downtown location.
The final vote was 8-1 with Councilman Carlos Garcia casting the opposing vote.
Some downtown residents and business owners have opposed adding beds to the Central Arizona Shelter Services facility. Opponents suggestions are to scatter small shelters around greater Phoenix rather than concentrating additional beds in the same place.
The vote also permits St. Vincent de Paul, a nearby facility, to continue operating 200 beds during extreme weather conditions when summer temperatures soar into triple digits.
According to the latest count in early 2020, Maricopa County is home to nearly 7,500 homeless people.
During the pandemic, shelters have been accepting somewhat fewer people each night to allow for spacing between beds.
With the additional beds approved, there will eventually be 1,788 beds available in Phoenix to the homeless population.