Unsheltered could face citations for living near Tempe Town Lake
PHOENIX — Unsheltered people living on the bank of Tempe Town Lake could face citations after the area became a “no trespassing zone” on Thursday.
The decision announced Wednesday became the latest move the city of Tempe has made as part of an ongoing effort to provide housing to unsheltered people while combating homelessness in the area.
Homeless response outreach teams began telling individuals living by the Salt River bed in July that the deadline to remain in the area was Aug. 31, citing health and safety concerns, according to a press release.
Other notifications were made through resource cards, public notifications and signs.
City officials said the decision to clear the area came after medical and fire calls to Tempe’s Fire and Medical team spiked over the last five years, from six calls for service made in 2017 to 71 in 2021.
They also added that flooding, hypodermic needles, chemicals, human waste and the lack of drinking water on the bed are among other hazards in the lake bed.
About 75 unsheltered people have engaged with outreach teams since July 1.
The city has worked to provide storage options for personal belongings and provide services through local court representatives to help with certain outstanding warrants.
In early August, the city began supporting double occupancy at city owned and leased motel rooms, while also helping individuals make way into other housing options around the Valley.
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