‘We all need to brace ourselves’: Experts fear pandemic could spur dramatic spike in homelessness


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‘We all need to brace ourselves’: Experts fear pandemic could spur dramatic spike in homelessness

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By Jessica Myers | Luce Foundation: Southwest Stories Fellowship
For more than three decades, ​André House​ just west of downtown has provided food, showers, temporary housing and other services to Arizonans experiencing homelessness or poverty.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of families seeking such services has almost doubled, said Ash Uss, the faith-based nonprofit’s coordinator of advocacy and partnerships.

“We have had families who show up and say, ‘I was just evicted,’ or ‘I'm about to be evicted,’ or ‘We're living out of our car,’” Uss said. “The need is greater than it ever was.”

A July report from ​University of Arizona researchers​ suggests the spike in people seeking homeless services at André House and elsewhere in metro Phoenix may be just the beginning. Researchers found the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic shutdown could increase the state's homeless population – about 11,000 as of January – by 16% to 42%.

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Southwest Stories>Schools, Services & Small Businesses
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This item was submitted on September 19, 2020 by Jessica Myers using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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