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Poll: Arizonans want homeless off streets, hint at distrust of spending | State

(Center Square) – Arizona voter poll supports public efforts to remove homeless residents from public roads but wants root cause solutions and more accountability for how tax money is spent It has been shown.

The poll firm Seminal Strategies conducted the survey on behalf of the Cicero Institute from June 28 to July 3. advocate He called for expanded temporary housing programs and accountability for program spending, stressing that long-term housing for former street dwellers is ineffective and leads to nepotism.

A poll found that 78% of the 1,509 likely voters said Arizona’s homeless problem was slowly getting worse. The opinion was bipartisan, with 74% of Hispanic and Democratic voters agreeing with him. He supported 70% of independents and 80% of self-described Republicans.

Additionally, 80% of all likely voters supported removing people from the streets and moving them to shelters where they could receive treatment for mental illness and addiction.

“This is an emerging problem that Arizonans are looking for solutions, and the data shows there is bipartisan agreement on the way forward,” said Cicero Action Executive Director Brian Sunderland. Stated. “This is both a public safety and a humanitarian issue. Together we can turn this challenge into an opportunity for lasting change.”

The Arizona legislature directed $210 million in its latest budget to address the homeless problem, much of it to cities and counties to implement. Poll responses suggest skepticism about how the tax money will be spent.

A total of 71% of respondents support state audits of local agency spending on homeless issues.

Maricopa County Yearly Point Numbers Since January Indicated There are 9,642 homeless people in the county, of whom more than 4,900 are not in shelters. The number of PIT he has increased every year since 2017.

“Homelessness is an area Maricopa County has been involved with for decades as one of the primary funders supporting services,” a Maricopa County spokesperson told Center Square. “The findings are not surprising given the growing number of people living in homelessness in cities across the county, as people have taken refuge in tents. , the problem became more pronounced.

The spokesperson said the oversight board will prevent homelessness with mechanisms such as rent subsidies, address immediate needs of the homeless such as shelters and cooling stations, and provide long-term solutions such as affordable housing. It added that it has allocated more than $500 million to take action.

Maricopa’s homeless epicenter was an area known as the “Zone” in downtown Phoenix until a court order forced the city to remove the campsite over the summer. A city spokesman declined to comment on the poll, but cited several initiatives the city has taken to combat homelessness, including a $140 million investment in homelessness.

The city added 592 new shelter beds in 2022. An additional 900 shelters and temporary beds are expected to become available in 2023 and 2024, officials said.

Respondents also showed moderate support for a ban on public camps related to funding emergency housing.

The majority of those surveyed (81%) felt it would be more considerate to move the homeless to available shelter rather than having them camp at a location of their choice. Given the option of shelter, 71% opposed allowing camps on streets and other public places.

56% agreed that funding the homeless should be linked to a ban on street camps. The figure was similar among Hispanic respondents, rising to nearly two-thirds among black voters.

Governor Katie Hobbs invoked the right of veto He said the bill would not address the root causes of homelessness and introduced a bill in June criminalizing public camps.

If the bill had passed, the state could have been challenged in court under the 2018 law. decision By the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It ruled that the ban on sleeping in public when there is no other option is unconstitutional.

States and cities outside the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit are working to ban public camping.most recently in Georgia Senate Bill 62 Cities were required to enforce a public camping ban this summer.

Last fall, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced a policy to involuntarily hospitalize homeless people with mental illness.

Opinion polls show unanimous support across all political parties and racial subgroups in favor of legally mandated hospitalization for treatment and stabilization of individuals with severe mental illness. reached 63% of all eligible voters.

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