This week the Tucson Crime Free Coalition steering leaders participated in the “Point In Time” count. The purpose was to survey people living on the streets. We volunteered because we believe it is important for us to be a “hands on” organization. We are not ideologues, we are REAL people looking for REAL solutions to the fentanyl and crime crisis that is ruining our community. We have been into numerous encampments around town. It is extremely sad to see how deeply people fall into the addiction cycle and the resulting lifestyle.
Pictured Left to Right with other PIT Count Team Members:
Josh Jacobsen (TCFC), Dave Gamrath, Kevin Daily (TCFC), Jon McLane, NI, Michael O'Connell
People ask us frequently, what is it like to visit encampments? Here are the key takeaways from our experiences:
- Substance abuse, particularly fentanyl or “blues” is a main factor for those that live on the streets.
- Many people tell us that they have lived on the streets for extended periods of time, often times years.
- Many people report that they are unaware of treatment options or services that are available.
- “Hustling” is the term some people used for how they get money. That includes scavenging or “finding” things to sell or trade on the street.
- Violence is not uncommon as a part of living on the street.
- We have had people admit that they are able to purchase “blues” (fentanyl) and sell them to others for a profit to fund their habit as well.
From what we are seeing, the need for the Transition Center at the Pima County Jail is more important than ever. Our laws need to be enforced for us to have a safer community for all. Treatment needs to be offered to those that are receptive so that they can have an opportunity to turn their lives around. Prosecution is needed for criminals that will not abide by our laws. While Pima County Supervisors, Bronson, Christy and Scott along with TCFC are implementing real solutions that will provide the drug treatment and wrap-around services for those in need.
Below are pictures of what we saw just in just one of the washes we have visited, the Flowing Wells Wash. All of these people, at least 26 at our count, are put in great danger of drowning.
PICTURES FROM FLOWING WELLS WASH in a 1/2 mile strip:
PICTURES FROM Gardner Lane and I-10 including under railroad tracks:
It's moving North here is a tragic situation at La Cholla and Orange Grove
Quick Hits from week:
TCFC steering leaders Kevin Daily and Josh Jacobsen speak at the 1/24/23 Board of Supervisors meeting
KOLD Story on the filth of Tucson
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