Emotions ran high at a community meeting in Scottsdale discussing the city's placement of homeless people in local hotel rooms.
Rep. Matt Gress, R-Phoenix, led a packed community hearing in Scottsdale on Wednesday to hear from experts and gather public comments in his capacity as chairman of the state House Appropriations Subcommittee on Budgetary Funding Formulas. The hearing featured Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega, Gospel Rescue Mission in Tucson CEO Lisa Chastain, Cicero Institute Senior Advisor Jared Meyer and San Fransico-based journalist Erica Sandberg in addition to community comments.
Gress raised concern in early August about a Scottsdale hotel having some rooms used by the Arizona Department of Housing to shelter what the city describes as migrants and others from the "Zone" — a large homeless encampment in downtown Phoenix that is slowly being cleared.
ADOH eventually said they would make sure funds from the contract between the state and Scottsdale would not be used on former Zone residents and illegal immigrants.
"While we stand by the validity of the Contract, we have confirmed with the City that the shelter beds and services provided pursuant to the Contract have not and will not serve those individuals impacted by the Zone and Title 42," Department of Housing Director Joan Serviss wrote on Aug. 18, The Center Square reported.
Scottsdale received a $940,000 grant to support their ongoing program this summer, part of it being the controversial hotel placements.