Homeless Crisis: Phoenix family deals with encampment behind their home

Homeless camps continue to be a problem across parts of the Valley. One Phoenix man even has an entire camp in the alleyway behind his home, and feels helpless.

The Ruano family feels their privacy has been stripped from them.

"I think that’s why they like it here, because it’s a quiet neighborhood," said Aaron Ruano.

The Ruanos' home sits on a cul-de-sac, which allows the backyard to expand right into the alley.

"They're all around the whole perimeter, so right now, if we were to go back to and peek over the fence, you really see 20 people, and they're all here right now," said Aaron.

The Ruanos have lived under the same roof for a decade, and Aaron said his backyard is anything but quiet.

"Like, I'm paying for my home, so I can have peace," said Aaron. "Obviously, they don't pay for nothing, but they ruin my peace."

Aaron said those who live in the alley are constantly looking over the wall into his backyard, making those living in the home feel unsafe.

"When I’m not here and my wife and daughter are here, that’s when I’m worried the most, to be honest," Aaron said.

Aaron built a playset in the backyard for his young daughter. The unwanted company has ruined that for them as well.

"They're smoking out here, and I have to make her go inside so she doesn’t smell the smoke too," said Aaron.

City of Phoenix's Community Action Response Engagement Services (CARES) has been out to the area multiple times offering resources. CARES let these residents know they have 48 hours to vacate the property, something Aaron said won’t solve the problem.

Instead, Aaron said he has a solution.

"Gate it up or something," said Aaron. "That way, only the neighbors and the City have access to the alley."

There are multiple signs along the alleyway that state ‘no loitering,’ but it doesn’t solve the problem. Meanwhile, Aaron and his family feel hopeless.

"My house is the only little thing I own, and my privacy is getting invaded," said Aaron. "I can’t even be outside in peace. I feel like I have no privacy."

Phoenix city officials say they are actively working to address the Ruanos' concern. There is a cleanup scheduled for Feb. 26, but Aaron and his family say the homeless will just return.