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Homelessness in Arizona: A Deepening Crisis


Arizona’s homeless crisis is among the worst in the country—outpacing states like California, Oregon, and Utah. The deepening chasm of despair over the last 10 years is staggering in scale.

In 2013, roughly nine out of every 10 homeless Arizonans had a short-term bed available to them—but things have changed, and total homelessness has grown at the 8th fastest rate in the country.

Unsheltered homelessness—the most vulnerable subpopulation found in tents and sleeping bags on the streets—is up 87% since 2018 and has more than doubled during the last decade.

The prevalence of severe mental illness and substance abuse has increased among all homeless populations, especially those who are unsheltered. Since 2013, the number of homeless individuals with severe mental illness and substance abuse in Arizona has nearly doubled. Among the unsheltered, they have increased by factors of roughly 10.

Short-term shelter space has failed to keep up with the growing homeless community.


References
  1. HUD Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Programs Homeless Populations and Subpopulations. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2013, 2018, 2023). https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/coc/coc-homeless-populations-and-subpopulations-reports/?filter_Year=&filter_Scope=State&filter_State=AZ&filter_CoC=&program=CoC&group=PopSub
  2. HUD Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Programs Housing Inventory Count Report. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2013, 2018, 2023). https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/coc/coc-housing-inventory-count-reports/?filter_Year=&filter_Scope=State&filter_State=AZ&filter_CoC=&program=CoC&group=HIC
  3. Glenn Farley and Zachary Milne. “Homelessness Spending Tops $1 billion in Arizona,” Common Sense Institute. https://commonsenseinstituteaz.org/homelessness-in-arizona/
  4. 2022 Arizona Continuum of Care Performance Profile. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. https://files.hudexchange.info/reports/published/CoC_Perf_State_AZ_2022.pdf