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Agency begins task of counting homeless in Phoenix area

(KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)

PHOENIX — Volunteers were hitting parks, parking lots, fast food restaurants and alleys across the Valley on Tuesday to get a street count of the homeless in Maricopa County.

Anne Scott with Maricopa Association of Governments said once the count was completed, the numbers would go to Congress to get dollars to help the people living on the streets.

“Most people are happy to talk to us,” Scott said. “Most of them are eager to share what they’re dealing with on the streets.”

One of the homeless was Danny Hawkins. Sitting in a parking lot at Seventh Street and McDowell Road wrapped in a blanket, Hawkins said he was a Marine who served from 1979 to 1983. He said had mental health issues and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Hawkins said he had been on the streets for two years.

“This shouldn’t happen to veterans,” he said.

Volunteers called Community Bridges, an Arizona nonprofit dedicated to providing medical and behavioral care, to arrange transportation for Hawkins to Community Resource and Referral Center.

The program is a one-stop shop for homeless veterans and is run by the Phoenix VA.

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