Groups protest criminalization of homelessness in Phoenix


About 30 people gathered on Twelfth Avenue and Jefferson Street in Phoenix by the Human Services Campus on Sunday afternoon to protest the treatment of people living on the streets by Phoenix police.

Advocates and people experiencing homelessness walked by dozens living in tents and on sidewalks as they chanted “houseless not hopeless” and made their way to local nonprofit André House. Many wore shirts that said, “Homes Not Jails.” 

Jesús Villa, a minister at Universal Life Church, said the distinction between “houseless” and “homeless” is important. “A house may not be where your heart is, and the home may be an area, land or community,” he said. He added that “houseless” is more specific to address how property, services and resources are allocated.

The protest was organized by Fund for Empowerment’s Houseless Leadership Project, which formed in 2018 as an advocacy group to educate people who are homeless on their rights, give them opportunities to speak publicly and help them obtain documentation they may have lost. 





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