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City of Tucson works to address issues impacting the most vulnerable populations

homeless camp tucson.jpg
Posted at 4:57 PM, Feb 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 00:42:48-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The City of Tucson is working to address some troubling issues impacting some of the community's most vulnerable groups.

“We recently worked on a plan called the People, Communities, and Homes Investment Plan or P-CHIP for short. This plan was adopted by mayor and council [in January], it really sets the roadmap for the department for the next five years," said Ann Chanecka, deputy director of housing and community development.

The 147-page plan highlights some startling statistics about homelessness, poverty, and inequity.

One is that homelessness spiked more than 60% from 2019 to 2020 and that 105 of those on the streets are kids.

EXCLUSIVE: The growing homeless crisis in Tucson

Another is that kids are suffering the most from poverty—with about 30% below the poverty level.

[More issues outlined in full P-CHIP Plan]

Chaneka said the City is working with $3 million in funds from the federal government and the city’s general fund to make sure six major issues are tackled.

  • Poverty rates, low incomes, and economic disparities
  • Education and economic mobility
  • Health disparities
  • Homelessness
  • Housing instability
  • Neighborhood inequities

The department's director Liz Morales is optimistic the city can make a real difference in the next five to ten years.

“We know we're not going to hit every single goal in that document. It really is our vision that we hope that we can make a difference in some of those areas,” said Morales.

Right now the City is asking for community organizations who think they can help tackle these issues to apply for some of the funds available.

“We’re asking for agencies to submit their proposals to also tell us how their proposals are consistent with the p chip priorities, the mayor and council priorities,” said Morales.

Mayor and council are expected to review applications selected organizations no later than May 15.

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