“The Zone” homeless encampment to be cleared

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A judge ordered the downtown homeless encampment “The Zone” to be cleared out by November 4.

Stephanie Martinez, Senior Director of Community Outreach and Strategy at the non-profit Circle the City, joined Arizona Horizon.

“The Zone is something that’s referred to by The Human Services Campus,” Martinez said. “That’s where a lot of different organizations throughout the valley go in to provide services.”

“The Zone” sits right outside of the Human Services Campus. It has individuals who utilize the campus and may not want to use the shelters.

Many business owners and residents have been complaining about the encampment, saying it has been filled with litter and crime. “The Zone” is located between 7th and 16th Avenues.

“We have seen a shift. We definitely have seen efforts from different organizations throughout the valley trying to provide services and connect these individuals to services,” Martinez said. “The reality is, as we continue to not have the resources, the housing, the different shelters, the funding, where would they go?”

The City of Phoenix requested more time to clean up “The Zone,” but a judge refused their request. The judge stated they must comply with the November deadline.

Phoenix plans to clear up the encampment while ensuring the people who currently inhabit “The Zone” have someplace to go.

“Circle the City is ready to go wherever the next shelter, the next outdoor space that opens up to provide medical services,” Martinez said.

Stephanie Martinez, Senior Director of Community Outreach and Strategy, Circle the City

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