Phoenix City Council Unanimously Approves Funding to Move Homeless into Hotel Rooms

The Phoenix City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved funding which will move some homeless residents into hotel rooms.

About $3 million of the approved $27 million in relief will pay for the long-term lease of an unnamed hotel.

The money will also go toward paying for more beds at private homeless shelters, rent assistance for the newly housed and HIV/AIDS patients and veterans.

A third of the funding comes from the Phoenix City Council, while the rest comes from the federal government.

Individuals facing homelessness in Phoenix has increased by 18% so far this year, according to the city, equating to nearly 2,400 total homeless people.

It was mentioned in the council meeting that the emergency shelter hotel rooms should help 100 individuals.

“Of the many cruelties inflicted by COVID-19, perhaps none is greater than the fact it’s made the most vulnerable among us even more so,” City of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said in a statement.

“While these funds are going to help the city respond to the very real and present danger of COVID-19, Phoenix is looking at these investments in the long term,” she added.

Circle the City, a non-profit community health organization that provides healthcare to people experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County, have created 48 additional beds for people under investigation for the virus.

The organization also added 10 beds for those positive for the coronavirus, according to the city.

UMOM New Day Centers, which provides shelter and supportive services for people facing homelessness, announced in a press release the opening of 25 additional emergency shelter units.

The organization says families seeking emergency shelter increased by 30% as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak.

In addition to combating homelessness and addressing housing insecurity, the funds will also be used to provide micro-loans and grants for local small businesses and non-profits.

Click here to listen to the full council meeting.

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