Tempe offering new phone number to help people experiencing homelessness

Jun 16, 2023, 8:00 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2023, 11:02 am

PHOENIX — Anyone who wants to help people sleeping on neighborhood sidewalks or private property can call a new phone number to access Tempe homeless solutions.

“We set up a line this last summer called the HOPE and CARE Line,” Tempe Director of Community Health and Human Services Tim Burch told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Evening News. “We’ve already had on average about 100, 150 calls a week and about half of those are around and dealing with folks who are homeless.”

Call 480-350-8004 to reach the Homeless Outreach Prevention Effort (HOPE), a city-run volunteer group that helps people get back on their feet — and out of residents’ front yards or carports.

Many of the calls come directly from people experiencing homelessness who want to get off the streets. “This phone number is for everyone to be able to use,” Burch said. “We also set up an innovative reporting app.”

Best Tempe homeless solutions

Residents can download the 311 app on iPhone or Android. It’s part of the city’s “One Call to City Hall” service at 480-350-4311, which addresses various city-related problems from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays. It’s not meant for emergencies; it’s more for reporting encampments.

“It really helps us track and clean all the debris and keep people safe and offer housing to anyone in our community who needs it,” Burch said.

On the other hand, the HOPE line is for people who need help. “We have more people who are calling, saying, ‘Hey, we just want to make sure that folks have water occasionally. Can you come out and do a welfare check on them?'” Burch said. “We’re really appreciative to all of our Tempe residents for keeping an eye out for their neighbors.”

Burch emphasized that the HOPE line is for both housed and unhoused people.

“If someone you know or love or lives with you is in a mental health crisis, you can call that line as well,” Burch said.

“We also know those types of things preempt or lead up to someone becoming homeless. So we’d like to work with folks before they find themselves in that situation.”

It’s not an emergency line, though. That would be the 2-1-1 Arizona service at (877) 211-8661. “The 2-1-1 actually routes calls to our crisis response team,” Burch said.

Those in search of more homeless assistance should check out KTAR News’ resource roundup here.

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Tempe offering new phone number to help people experiencing homelessness