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A protest about the rights of homeless people in a protest in the center of Phoenix

Molly Hudson, Arizona Republic

Published 8:14 p.m. MT 12 June, 2019 Updated 9:12 p.m. MT 12 June, 2019


A group gathered in the center of Phoenix Wednesday is a human right to support homeless rights singing phrases such as "sleeping".
Arizona Republic

A small group of homeless barristers took to the streets of Phoenix Bridge on Wednesday asking the city to take steps to protect the rights of homeless residents.

The protest, which was held near Phoenix City Council Associations at WW Jefferson Street, included a short march with protesters holding signs, and chanting at phrases like, "not a crime of homelessness," "sleeping is a human right," "We need homes, not prisons," and "The lives of homeless people are also important."

Elizabeth Venable, who led the protest on behalf of a group called the Homeless Leadership Project, said the city is not consistently adhering to 9 Circuit Appeals Courts.

She said that “camping” outside should not be considered a criminal act. Venable claimed that the city is bringing the people who do so or by forceing them to move.

She said that Tempe has taken steps to follow the rule.

"We are here to ensure that human rights are respected and viewed as ingredients," Venable said.

She said that if a person is caught just sleeping on the streets, they can break down their record and make it harder to get a job and outside the streets.

Among the protesters were people who said they were homeless.

“I had great jobs, I had hard and long times, so I like everyone else, urban camping as I am homeless, and we like everyone else, we have hope and desire too.”

Charles Haun

"I had great jobs, I had hard and long times, so I like urban camping as I am homeless, and we like everyone else, we have hope and desire," he said. Charles Haun, who was with the group.

The Government of Maricopa Society released a the number of annual homeless persons per month last month, reporting that 6,614 people were experiencing homelessness in the county on the night of Jan 21 – 316 more than last year.

About half were considered to be living uninhabited.

The city launched a program where police and other departments are designed to respond to homeless camp reports.

The city of Phoenix CARES (Community Action Response Participation Services) is an effort between the police, and people and neighborhood services designed to reduce blight and link homeless people with services.

Under the effort, city officials say that police officers who come into contact with a homeless person can contact outreach teams to intervene. The program tracks residents' reports on homeless camps, of which approximately 1,500 were reported last July, officials said.

The program is designed to encourage outreach teams to take homeless people into services provided by the city or others, officials said.

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