In the state of Arizona, homelessness has been a prevalent issue for many years. A variety of factors contribute to this issue, from job scarcity to a lack of affordable housing. This article aims to explore some of the causes of homelessness in Arizona and highlight the resources available to anyone facing this situation.

Who Are the Homeless in Arizona?

The homeless population in Arizona is diverse, includinig individuals, families, and veterans. Many are suffering from mental health issues, substance abuse, or are victims of domestic violence. The number of homeless individuals in Arizona has been gradually growing over the past few decades. According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, as of January 2020, an estimated 10,317 people were homeless on any given night in Arizona.

Causes of Homelessness in Arizona

The causes of homelessness in Arizona are multifaceted, often involving a combination of personal and systemic factors. For some, unexpected life events such as job loss, medical emergencies, or family breakdowns can result in homelessness. For others, systemic issues like a lack of affordable housing or the rising cost of living in the state contribute to their circumstances. Arizona has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation, which certainly plays into the homelessness issue.

State Government Initiatives to Tackle Homelessness

The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) is primarily responsible for managing programs designed to help the homeless. It facilitates programs like the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) and the State Homeless Coordination Office, which work to offer immediate shelter and also find long-term housing solutions for the homeless.

The DES also works closely with non-profit shelters across the state, providing funding to help them meet their operational needs and continue offering services to those in need. The goal is to address homelessness comprehensively, ensuring that individuals have access to adequate shelter and necessary resources to get them back on their feet.

Homeless Shelters in Arizona

There are numerous city and state-funded homeless shelters across Arizona. However, the eligibility to access these services can vary depending on the shelter. Many cater specifically to certain groups such as teenagers, single mothers, veterans, or those struggling with substance abuse.

Shelters offer a variety of assistance, including providing a safe place to sleep, hot meals, and shower facilities. Many also have programs in place to assist residents with job searching, skill training, counseling, and medical care.


While homelessness remains a critical issue in Arizona, the state is making efforts to provide resources and assistance to those in need. Through state-run initiatives and homeless shelters, help is available for those who are currently homeless or on the brink of homelessness.

For specific guidance and resources, those experiencing homeless are encouraged to reach out to the Arizona Department of Economic Security, local city offices, or local homeless shelters. Remember, asking for help is the first step towards changing your situation.

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