Phoenix votes to allocate $18m in coronavirus funding to support vulnerable population

Officials with the City of Phoenix announce the city's most vulnerable and at-risk residents will be moved into hotel rooms, following a vote on allocating nearly $18 million in federal COVID-19 funding to support the city's vulnerable population.

According to a statement released by the office of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, the money allocation was approved in a unanimous vote.

"While these funds are going to help the city respond to the very real and present danger of COVID-19, Phoenix is looking at these investments in the long term," read a portion of the statement.

The money, according to city officials, will be used to combat homelessness, address housing insecurity, and provide microloans and grants for local small businesses and nonprofits.

"Of the many cruelties inflicted by COVID-19, perhaps none is greater than the fact it’s made the most vulnerable among us even more so," read a portion of the statement.

"With numbers already high, non-profits are bursting at the seams," said Mayor Gallego.

City officials call the vote the largest Community Block Development Grant investment towards combating homelessness in Phoenix's history.

Parts of Phoenix are dealing with a big homeless problem. In February, FOX 10 reported on a sizeable homeless encampment just blocks away from the Arizona State Capitol.

The area, according to the report by John Hook, the encampment is home to some 400 people. Nearby residents and business owners have expressed frustration over the encampment.

"We have to get these people off the streets for their own health and safety because there could be a fire, a disease, anything could happen, and help the businesses so the businesses can function down here," said Joel Coplin, who owns an art gallery in the area.

“I have employees who have worked for me for 30 years, and customers who have been with me for more than three decades who are nervous coming down here in a way they never were before,” said Bill Morlan, who owns an electrical supply company in the area.

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