Weekly reflections from the front lines serving single adults experiencing homelessness, at the uncertain phase of a global pandemic, Phoenix "Spring," disrupting systems and living up to the legacy of a champion.
It's been 11 days since my last post and 23 1/2 weeks since losing my sense of smell. I am able to smell bleach, urine on sidewalks and some citrus household cleaners. It's a start. And I dream of smelling coffee and chocolate....
That smelling inability is still nothing in comparison to experiencing homelessness. For another two weeks running, the Human Services Campus Outreach Team has counted more than 1,000 individuals unsheltered in our neighborhood. And we have opened the Respiro shelter with a gradual ramp up to 100 people. One hundred less of a thousand is not really noticeable. The sidewalks and streets are full. The posts and chains installed by the City nearly two years ago are now used as structural components to hold up walls of tarp, canopies of tent, and to hold leashes of dogs. High temperatures are now daily in the 90s.
There is no quick way out of this increase in unsheltered homelessness across Maricopa County. Unless, well unless, elected officials and decision makers would treat it as a humanitarian crisis...[Read More]