Courtesy of Maricopa Alliance for Shelter and Housing
The Maricopa Alliance for Housing and Shelter, a grassroots organization advocating for the homeless, is demanding conditions improve at the Men's Overflow Shelter and adjacent East Lot immediately. The group sent a clear and strong message in a formal letter to local, county, and state officials this afternoon.
Included in the list of demands are basic necessities and fundamental human rights like potable water and sanitary bathroom conditions. Currently, nine portable toilets--cleaned once a week--are available and expected to serve upwards to 300 individuals per night. There are no hand-washing stations, and the only water available is accessed through a garden hose attached to a spigot, a few feet away from the toilets. MASH is demanding more garbage cans be placed in the area, and that something be done about the rats, mice, and bedbug infestation.
Recipients of the letter--which include Governor Doug Ducey, Mayor Greg Stanton, City Manager Ed Zuercher, and Mark Holleran, CEO of the Central Arizona Shelter Services--have until 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 9 to implement changes at the MOS and East Lot, and until March 11 to provide a detailed action plan for a new emergency shelter. A failure to do so will trigger "action," group leaders tell New Times. (The group is not revealing what specific action they have planned, but Amy McMullen, co-founder of MASH, says whatever they do will "involve and give voice to the city's homeless population.")