The population of homeless people in Phoenix Arizona is currently on the rise and the ages are starting to decrease.
Nicole Pena, a public relations and marketing director in the Phoenix Rescue Mission, said there are a lot more young adults in their 20’s showing up at the Arizona homeless shelters and on the streets of phoenix. There used to be the majority of people around their 50’s, but now it’s more in their early to late 20’s.
The profile of the homeless people are trending younger because of the spread of drug addiction, loss of motivation to keep up with responsibilities, family issues, and many other factors. There are an estimated 2.6 million people addicted to opioids and heroin, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
When asked if homelessness was thought to affect education, West Phoenix High School Principal Alex Horton said “Absolutely.”
He said there are many different forms of homelessness and it affects people every single day. It absolutely affects education to the point that people don’t even prioritize it. When asked how homelessness could take a toll on somebody’s life he said “for some people it can be devastating because they’re literally left with nothing.”
A new national survey of homelessness by the U.S Dept of Housing and Urban Development puts Arizona with 8,947 homeless people. That includes 578 teenagers, 970 military veterans, and 1,463 chronically homeless people. These numbers are based on the counts of homeless persons across the country conducted in January.