Homeless Crisis: North Phoenix residents voice concerns over neighborhood park
PHOENIX - Garbage, drug paraphernalia and feces: that is what people in a North Phoenix neighborhood say they are experiencing at their local park.
"It is very embarrassing. Sad," said Osama Hanna.
Hanna says he once loved Cave Creek Park, located near 23rd Avenue and Cactus.
"The park, six years ago, was a thriving place," said Hanna.
Hanna said these days, there are persistent health and safety problems at the park.
"We walk out and see this filth, and just the other day, I found a dead dog in this field," said Hanna.
Hanna is not the only person who has noticed the state of Cave Creek Park.
"I’ve seen everything from shoes, to clothes hanging from the trees, to even a bed frame on the other side of the park there, near the tree," said Luis Llamas.
"I've noticed a lot of tin foil," said one person, identified only as ‘Leia.'
"We have trash everywhere," said Hanna. "It’s dirty. It smells. The homeless problem is really, really something Phoenix should take into consideration."
Phoenix City Officials Respond
City officials say they are aware of the problem, after someone submitted a report about the homeless encampment, as well as trash surrounding the neighborhood park.
Officials say crews cleaned up the park last week and is "actively working to bring additional services to this area to help those who are unsheltered."
These steps that the city took have not gone unnoticed by area residents.
"It seems like the Phoenix city people have really cleaned up the place," said Leia. "It looks a lot more better. I see a lot more kids coming out, playing around with basketballs and things like that."
Hanna, however, argues that more can be done.
"I would just like to walk down these paths, look out, and not have to worry about these kinds of things," said Hanna.
City officials are encouraging residents to share their concerns. People who notice any encampments or unsheltered individuals can call PHX C.A.R.E.S at (602)262-6251, or submit a report online. Meanwhile, those currently without a home who are seeking resources can be connected to them after calling 211.