City of Scottsdale using signs to discourage direct aid to homeless

Ivana Venema-Nunez , Reporter

The City of Scottsdale has placed signs along areas where many “panhandlers” stand with signs asking for help.

City of Scottsdale spokesperson, Kelly Corsette believes that the signs will encourage donations to agencies instead of giving money to panhandlers directly.

The signs read, “It’s ok to say no to panhandlers.”

“We want to be responsive to our residents, be responsive to the things that city staff are observing out there in the community, while at the same time recognize that there are people in our community who are in need,” Corsette said. “That’s where we landed on our approach with these signs.”

According to the Maricopa Association of Governments, report the rate of homelessness has risen by 316 people over a year ago and a total of 6,614.

This past January 13 percent of that number were individuals experiencing homelessness for the first time.

Overall the unsheltered count increased by 22 percent over 2018.

The report also includes, for the first time,182 pets on the street, 10 of those counted were service animals. spoke with an individual that is struggling with homelessness and reiterates the outdated resources of these agencies.

“They wanna be helpful-um—some of the information is kind of outdated when you get it,” Gary Reeves said.

Reeves was evicted from his home because he couldn’t pay his mortgage—a common and growing experience for many of the Valley’s homeless. 

But Reeves also expressed concern that aggressive behavior coming from drivers toward the homeless has grown since the signs were put up.