The faces of homelessness throughout the Valley

Tempe/West Chandler Wrangler News reported that homelessness is a social problem not easily solved, yet several community leaders and organizations remain determined to search for solutions and to share their expertise with the public.

Among them are researchers from Arizona State Univeristy, staff from the city of Tempe and the Arizona Historical Society, which is housed at Arizona Heritage Center in Papago Park.

A presentation at the museum in April included Melissa Kovacs, associate director for research at ASU's Morrison Institute for Public Policy, who gave specific details about homelessness across the Valley.

The total number of homeless people in Maricopa County was 5,605 in 2017, and it was 6,298 in 2018. In that time, the number who were unsheltered — sleeping in a park or in a car — increased 12 percent and about 1,100 were children, she said.

She also outlined some of the challenges that the homeless experience, including risk of violence or disease along with increased emotional disorders.

An upcoming panel discussion on July 16 will feature an exhibit by local photographer Jon Linton called, “I Have a Name, " a collection of black-and-white portraits of people living on the streets.

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