The Homeless Are Your Neighbors | Cottonwood , Arizona | Verde Independent
“Because of our current economy, we have a whole new population who are experiencing homelessness for the first time.”
That, says Karia Basta, has raised awareness of the homeless problem in communities all around the state. The demonstrative administrator of Special Needs for the Arizona Department of Housing spoke at the quarterly meeting of the Verde Valley Homeless Coalition on Wednesday.
Basta told the Cottonwood gathering that research has exposed a lot of myths about homeless people. Think they want to be homeless and that they are mainly transients? Throw those ideas out.
“People wind up homeless in their home areas,” Basta said. “The homeless are your neighbors.”
She was preaching to a choir, so to speak, of several concerned organizations ranging from Catholic Charities Community Services (organizers of the coalition) to Cornucopia to Chapter 5 to elected officials and even a Cottonwood police officer. The crowd of 40 was larger than normal for the topic of homelessness, but the December meeting indicated the growing interest and necessitated the move to the larger Verde Valley Guidance Clinic.
Basta noted that rural areas like the Verde Valley have many nonprofit organizations stepping in to help people who are without shelter. “But just the nonprofits together can’t do it,” she said.