An Arizona has judge ordered the city of Phoenix to find a solution and clean up the homeless encampment, otherwise known as “the Zone” in downtown.
‘The Zone’ encompasses 10 blocks surrounding the Human Services Campus at 12th Avenue and Madison Street in downtown Phoenix with an estimated 1,000 people have been living on the streets.
On Monday, the court order covered several issues, including that the city was not enforcing numerous criminal statutes in the Zone, that it was allowing drug use, prostitution and violence, and that the effect on business and property owners in the area was terrible.
In 2022, business and property owners in the area sued the city over the conditions that have been allowed The purpose of the lawsuit was to force Phoenix officials to enforce the laws, relocate the people and clean up the area.
A ordered issued by the judge included that the city must maintain the public property, which include sidewalks and the right of way must be free of tents and similar structures. In addition, the clean-up of biohazardous materials must be implemented. This includes human waste and drug needles that have been left to remain all over the area.
The court order detailed that the Zone must be disbanded by July 10 and there must be a plan in place that will produce effective results for business and property owners and individuals living in the encampment.
The City of Phoenix released a statement after the court’s ruling:
“The City of Phoenix is currently reviewing the court’s ruling. We remain committed to addressing the needs of all residents and property owners. We continue to work with local and regional partners to address the complex issues surrounding those experiencing homelessness and to connect people in need with safe, indoor spaces and resources to help end their homelessness.”