Díaz and Kwok: Phoenix needs to look at the root causes of homelessness

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Monday, May 8, 2023 - 11:36am
Updated: Tuesday, May 9, 2023 - 8:22am

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Tents lining a street in the Zone homeless encampment in downtown Phoenix
Tim Agne/KJZZ
Tents lining a street in “The Zone” homeless encampment in downtown Phoenix in March 2023.

The Show regularly checks in with the Arizona Republic editorial board to talk about current issues facing the state and the region — featured in columns on the newspaper’s op-ed pages.

The problem of homelessness in metro Phoenix has reached a crisis point. The city has been ordered by a judge to dismantle “The Zone,” the state’s largest homeless encampment surrounding the comprehensive homeless services campus downtown.

But cleaning up “The Zone” is just one step in what will likely prove to be a long and complicated process of truly addressing the fact that nearly 10,000 people are living on the streets in our communities. Now, a new project from the editorial board of the Arizona Republic dives deep into the underlying issues — and what’s next.

For more, The Show spoke to Elvia Díaz, editorial page editor for the Republic, as well as columnist Abe Kwok.

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