Maricopa County official: our homelessness rate has nearly doubled since 2012
Jan. 11, 2018
As the number of people who are homeless in Maricopa County grows, county officials say they are working hard to address the issue.
Steve Chucri, Chairman for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, says tackling major issues like homelessness are his primary focus as Chairman.
“One thing that scares me is to see our homelessness rate almost doubled in the last five years. That includes youth. We have to ask how that’s happened,” Chucri says.
One of the main factors attributed to the growing number of people who are homeless is substance abuse, particularly the opioid crisis that is prevalent in the county. It’s an issue that Governor Doug Ducey has promised to work on this year, as he said in his state of the state address on Tuesday night.
Currently, the county offers rapid rehousing programs, but they have shown to not be enough. “Get politics out of the way and agree to put these people in housing now,” Chucri says. Chucri is determined to get to the root of the problem and find a solution. Nothing will get done, according to Chucri, if there is no ambition to do better.
Chucri briefly mentions the politics surrounding the future of Chase Field. While he wants baseball to remain downtown and to remain in the same facility, he says he will not settle on a happy compromise if it hurts the taxpayer. The talks between the county and the Diamondbacks are private for the time being, but Chucri says they have been productive.