Chronic street homelessness is a complex societal issue that many cities face world-wide. According to the 2017 Business Security Survey conducted by the Downtown Tucson Merchant and Retail Council, homelessness was ranked the number one safety concern among downtown business and property owners. Homelessness was also identified as the biggest barrier to Downtown Tucson’s success in both DTP’s online Board survey and at the 2017 DTP Board Retreat. DTP Connects is a homeless outreach program utilizing the Housing First approach prioritizing housing and support services. Onsite interviews and assessments are provided by a dedicated community engagement specialist at homeless encampments and on downtown streets via a DTP Connects mobile service unit. The success of the program is tremendous, placing 84 individuals into housing in three months and decreasing homelessness by 96%. This program is responsible for completely transforming a homeless encampment fraught with sanitation and safety issues, into a vibrant public plaza now enjoyed by all. The effects of this program extend throughout the entire downtown community.
Downtown Tucson Partnership