Homelessness and Panhandling in Scottsdale
If you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, call 911.
Homelessness is a complex social problem that impacts our community and those who are experiencing it. There are no easy or fast solutions. The City of Scottsdale works in collaboration with community partners to connect people in need with resources, services, and programs with the goal of making homelessness brief, rare, and non-recurring.
How We Help
Beginning in 2020 the City of Scottsdale has initiated contracts with three organizations to work more directly and comprehensively with those experiencing street homelessness. Following are the organizations and contact information:
Phoenix Rescue Mission – Street Outreach & Navigation
Phoenix Rescue Mission's Outreach & Navigation specialists engage directly with people experiencing homelessness on the streets of Scottsdale. They provide necessities (food, hygiene, and water) but also assist in connecting individuals and families to supportive services. If those contacted are willing, Phoenix Rescue Mission can provide transport to shelters, substance abuse treatment centers, behavioral health providers, and other resources. They will also assist individuals in obtaining needed documents necessary for employment and housing applications. They build rapport and work to help remove barriers to stability through comprehensive case management. Anyone can make a referral to the PRM Outreach team through email: email@example.com or by phone at 602-346-3361.
Phoenix Rescue Mission – Scottsdale Works/Brick by Brick
Phoenix Rescue Mission engages with people experiencing homelessness as well through a work program called Scottsdale Works. Three times a week for five hours a day up to 5 people experiencing homelessness a day are paid $12/hour to work directly on City of Scottsdale sites. Most often the work assignment is with Brick by Brick but could also take place with other city departments doing jobs like helping clean a local park. In addition to earning a wage, participants receive breakfast, lunch, and are connected to other resources and assistance through the Street Outreach and Navigation case managers. To contact the Scottsdale Works program please call 602-339-2977 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Bridges – New Faces Day Relief Centers
The Day Relief Centers are coordinated by a collaboration between New Faces, a partnership of Scottsdale faith communities, and the local non-profit Community Bridges (CBI). Individuals and families experiencing homelessness can access assistance on Mondays and Thursdays at two local churches. Currently they have access to services from Community Bridges and other agency partners. Lunch is also provided and people have access to clothing and additional food items. People are able to take a rest for as long as the center is open on sleeping mats and to charge electronic devices. These are locations for respite, necessities, and connection to a wider array of services and resources. Contact CBI with any questions at 480-215-7466.
ELAINE is a local non-profit that is contracted with the City of Scottsdale to provide transportation services to people experiencing homelessness to social determinants of health. These are services & programs outside of healthcare appointments covered by AHCCCS health plans. Social determinants of health include connecting individuals to food security, employment, economic opportunity (DES, bank, etc...) housing, social cohesion programs, and necessary errands. Contact Scott to check for ride availability - call or text 602-909-3172
For People Experiencing Homelessness
New Faces Partnership includes public, private, nonprofit and faith groups in Scottsdale coming together to assist city residents and homeless individuals affected by the economic downturn. As a partner, CBI provides onsite access to navigators, trained professionals who can guide community members to the services best for them, and provides crisis response as needed.
Vista Del Camino has many important services for people in our community experiencing or are in danger of experiencing homelessness, including rent and utility assistance, a food bank, and employment assistance.
Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness—and their family members, friends and supporters—can make the call to or chat online with the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, where trained counselors are ready to talk confidentially 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
1500 E. Thomas Rd., Suite 106 Phoenix, AZ 85006
CRRCs provide Veterans who are homeless and at risk of homelessness with one-stop access to community-based, multiagency services to promote permanent housing, health and mental health care, career development and access to VA and non-VA benefits.
How you can help
The Power of Your Dollar
Many people do not realize that donating to agencies dedicated to helping people in need such as churches, shelters and food banks may be a better way to help the homeless versus providing individual contributions. Below are links to just a few of the agencies that you may consider:
Legal information relating to homelessness and panhandling
While there are many laws that potentially impact those who are experiencing homelessness, being homeless is not a crime. Along with homelessness, panhandling by itself is also not a crime. The courts have consistently ruled that panhandling or begging for money is a protected activity under the First Amendment as long as it is done on public property where members of the public are generally entitled to be such as public sidewalks and parks. Panhandlers do not have a right to beg on private property unless granted permission by the private property owners. Private property owners have a right to trespass both panhandlers and people experiencing homelessness from their properties. Panhandlers on public property may not disturb the peace, obstruct public thoroughfares, litter or threaten passersby while engaging in panhandling.
Finally, not all panhandlers are homeless and not all people experiencing homelessness are engaged in panhandling.
It is Unlawful to be in City parks and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve After Hours. City parks are closed to all visitors from 10:30 p.m. until sunrise. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is closed from sunset to sunrise. This means that someone who is hiking, camping or otherwise within a city park or the Preserve during the aforementioned hours is violating the law. A person may not camp on private property without a property owner’s permission and regardless of whether it involves public or private property depending on the circumstances such camping activity may violate other state laws or city ordinances (e.g. illegal burning, unlawful dumping etc.).