Reflections from the front lines serving people experiencing homelessness, in a cooler Phoenix, Autumn in the air, and a recovery from COVID.
There are fewer hours of day light. The pavement is still warming up. The shadows are longer and seemingly darker. Timed lighting flickers on as the sun sets.
Personally I had a second bout of COVID (the first one was in November of 2021). This time was not as severe, possibly due to the Paxlovid medication. Side effects from that were rough. There was a heavy duty metallic taste in my mouth over the five day course of medicine; the only thing that negated it was Propel flavored water. I think my sense of smell is dampened, meaning the few things I could smell are gone again (other than smoke). And those are minor complaints in the grand scheme.
In four spaces on the Human Services Campus (HSC) we continue to shelter 900 people nightly. This week the HSC Outreach Team counted 471 unsheltered in our neighborhood; this number continues to fluctuate. This is the early part of the month, when people may have money from Social Security which allows them to rent a motel room for a bit of time.
The HSC team also manages the "By Name List" for single adults who are experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County and have been assessed for housing. This week there are 7,317 adults on this list.
When we talk about system flow, we are looking at the number of people who fall into homelessness and the number of people who move out in to housing. For Maricopa County the inflow is nearly two times the outflow. And the fact that 7,317 are waiting for housing paints a picture of how clogged the system is and how few housing opportunities are available. And, these numbers don't include the data for families. While these are big numbers, as I have said before they are not outrageous, unsolvable numbers. We can do this. [Read More...]