Phoenix mayor announces initiative to combat homelessness - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Phoenix mayor announces initiative to combat homelessness

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PHOENIX -

On any given day there are up to 30,000 homeless people in Arizona. But Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton says enough is enough. He announced a new plan to try to end homelessness in the city, at no additional cost to tax payers.

"What we're announcing today in the Phoenix Homeless Initiative. Does not involve new money, it involves reallocating those city dollars, federal dollars and in some case the state, housing dollars, using them more strategically," said Stanton.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton says some of that strategy involves turning some Phoenix shelters into permanent housing, providing families, veterans and the chronically homeless with a place to live for three years starting next July.

"Housing first model, which means not just give someone a place off the streets, that's important, but you've got to wrap around the services to give them what they need."

Some of those services include health care, counseling for mental illness and alcohol, and drug abuse programs.

"So many of those folks that you see could end their cycle of homelessness if they just get the support services necessary."

The program also utilizes housing vouchers for rental assistance, again paired up with other services people need, to help them end a cycle of homelessness

"I wouldn't be here if I didn't think it could be achieved," said Stanton.

Mayor Stanton says taking care of our homeless is the right thing to do, and it will improve the community overall.

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