Skip to Content

Valley homeless people say they’re being forced to move again

<i>KNXV</i><br/>Just south of 48th and Washington streets
Willingham, James
Just south of 48th and Washington streets

By Ford Hatchett

Click here for updates on this story

    PHOENIX (KNXV) — Just south of 48th and Washington streets, more than a hundred people live near the railroad tracks that run near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

“I lost my family and stuff and right after that I didn’t know where else to look,” Michael Jimenez told ABC15. “That’s how I became homeless.”

Jimenez said he has lived on the streets for about eight years.

“We’re not on drugs,” Jimenez said. “We’re just trying out here to survive, that’s all.”

He and others used to live in the Tempe River bottom but were forced to move in late 2022.

Now they say law enforcement has told them they need to move from this new location.

“It is sad. Big time, you know, it’s not good. It’s crazy. It’s like it’s never going to stop. I wish it would,” Jimenez told ABC15.

“It breaks my heart because the people need help and they’re all human beings with intrinsic worth and they have a lot to offer the community,” said Benjamin Jeffrey who is a service provider in Maricopa County.

The work is personal for Jeffrey, who was homeless himself before turning his life around. He’s now committed to helping others.

“They tell them they’ve got to move along but there’s not really much in the way of services being offered,” Jeffrey said. “They move and then it’s kind of like whack-a-mole, they go from one encampment to the next.”

Jeffrey has worked to get many people detox services and other help and he’s talked with many of the folks now living here for years.

The people living here are helping each other pack up and preparing to have to move again. Some in the group are open to outreach, others say they’d like to remain on the streets. When asked what he was hoping for, Jimenez told ABC15 consistency and help.

“A place, just being comfortable and not having to be moving every time,” Jimenez said. “They keep saying they’re going to help and help but they never do. They just want to brush us out.”

ABC15 has looked into which law enforcement agency is enforcing this order. At this point it is unclear.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content