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:
Homeless Navigation and Resources
For assistance with homeless programs, services and resources, call the Homeless Navigation Team at 480-312-0101.
City of Scottsdale Day Relief Centers in partnership with Community Bridges Inc. and Community House
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 Fridays at two sites. 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. For services, contact the CBI Access to Care line at 602-273-9999.
Day Relief Center hours of operation:
Bridge Housing Program
The Bridge Housing Program assists seniors and families with children with temporary shelter if they have been displaced from their homes in Scottsdale while they transition to a more stable living situation. Participants in the program will work on a case plan with a case manager.
To qualify for assistance, applicants must:
- Live in Scottsdale and are at risk of becoming unhoused or have been recently displaced from a Scottsdale resident
- Be a senior age 62 or older or be a single parent with minor children with full custody of the children
- Be willing and able to work on a case plan that will include income/employment, housing/shelter and working on other items of social determinants of health
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. Scottsdale Human Services Division has partnered with non-profit organizations such as Scottsdale Community Partners (SCP) and Partners for Paiute (PFP) to fund programs such as Healthy Packs, Vista Food Bank, Homeless Services, the Gleaners Food Program, Transportation Assistance Program, Emergency Youth Program, and the P.E.T. Pantry.
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.).