STATUS QUO: The ills of homelessness and poverty affect our entire community, as the Phoenix area is 2nd in the nation in extreme poverty rates. We’ve seen a lack of leadership from City Hall when it comes to partnering with charitable organizations and increasing efficiencies when it comes to caring for those most in need.
Develop “First Step Phoenix” Program
We need one municipal program that improves communication between city departments and the private sector, improving efficiencies and getting those in need the help they deserve. As Mayor, I will lead the way on the creation of “First Step Phoenix”. My vision for First Step is an initiative that focuses on providing resources to those in need, including temporary employment, housing and rehabilitation services.
Create Social Impact Partnerships
Similar to the public-private partnerships (P3) we see for infrastructure projects, Phoenix should partner with private companies and organizations to fund programs based on results that have a social impact. From reducing homelessness to enabling children in low-income households to receive education assistance, Phoenix must be a leader in social impact partnerships that drive results and improve our city’s quality of life.
Increase Affordable Housing Options
For too many charities and affordable housing providers, the abundance of regulations at City Hall makes it difficult to provide options to low-income families. As Mayor, I will reduce the amount of regulations at City Hall for these providers and lead on partnerships between the City and affordable housing providers to create more housing options for everyone in our community.
Reduce Regulations and Bureaucracy
Too often, community organizations have run into bureaucracy and red tape at City Hall when it comes to fulfilling their mission. We need to reform the way City Hall looks at regulatory barriers and allow charitable organizations the freedom to serve our indigent population the best way they can instead of standing in their way.
Create Regional Mayors Homelessness Task Force
Homelessness is not just a Phoenix problem; it is a regional and national issue that will need leaders from across the Valley working together. I will establish a regional task force that encourages collaboration between cities and focuses on best practices to get those in need the proper resources.
Encourage Giving to Charities, Crackdown on Professional Panhandlers
While we all want to help those in need, we need to focus on giving in ways that help the most long-term. Emphasizing on giving to charities and shelters, while cracking on down on the professional panhandlers that harass Phoenicians, needs to be a part of a holistic approach to reducing homelessness.