By Corinne Murdock |
The $60 million promised by Gov. Katie Hobbs to house the homeless in this latest budget is now being used to house, feed, and provide resources to illegal immigrants as well.
Gov. Katie Hobbs hailed the funding as a means of affordable housing for “every Arizonan” — which now apparently includes illegal immigrants.
“With the Homeless Shelter and Services Fund and the historic $150 million deposit into Arizona’s Housing Trust Fund, we are making real progress toward ensuring affordable housing for every Arizonan,” said Hobbs.
$20 million of the $60 million was deployed immediately in early June through the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH). The agency neglected to mention in its press release that illegal immigrants would also benefit from the millions.
The funds are dispersed through ADOH’s newly-established Homeless Shelter and Services (HSS) Fund. ADOH advised applicants that it would prioritize those who served those impacted by the court order for the city of Phoenix to clean up its mass homeless encampments in Freddy Brown v. City of Phoenix, the expiration of Title 42 which enabled the expedited expulsion of illegal immigrants, and the closure of sober living homes and residential facilities.
On Wednesday, the city councils for Scottsdale and Phoenix approved their portion of ADOH HHS funding. Unlike Scottsdale, Phoenix approved their funding without discussion.
The following received a cut of this recently-allocated $20 million:
- Phoenix: $13.3 million
- Tucson: $2.73 million
- Mesa: $1 million
- Scottsdale: $940,000
- Tempe: $929,000
- Flagstaff: $840,000
- Coconino County: $133,000
Apart from Phoenix and Scottsdale, the other city councils or boards have yet to discuss their awarding of funds during a regular meeting.
As part of their agreement to receive the ADOH funds, Scottsdale will take in the “overflow” of Phoenix’s homeless population displaced by the breakup of the mass homeless encampment known as “The Zone.”
Scottsdale will pay $500,000 to rent hotel rooms at McCormick Ranch, as well as issue $400,000 for supportive services and $40,000 for nutrition and all other “essential needs” for a year.
Up to 120 individuals will benefit from this arrangement. 30 percent of the rooms must go to homeless individuals from “The Zone” — Phoenix’s mass homeless encampment that the Maricopa County Superior Court ruled in May must be cleaned up.
Councilman Barry Graham, who voted against Scottsdale’s recent measure, expressed consternation that city leaders chose to prioritize outsiders over Scottsdale’s homeless population.
“I voted ‘no’ based on responses to my questions about vetting participants and community safety,” stated Graham. “Scottsdale residents are compassionate — however there are better ways to demonstrate compassion.”