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How Tempe's HOPE team connects with homeless residents

Tempe is hiring two more homeless outreach specialists to add to its Homeless Outreach Prevention Effort team.

Thanks to $135,000 from Arizona State University, the new members will work in the downtown and university areas, both on and off campus.

The HOPE team does daily outreach on the street to build a rapport with people experiencing homelessness. That includes offering services like getting IDs, food or a connection to a mental health provider or recovery center.

The goal, officials say, is to get people experiencing homelessness to accept shelter, so the city can work on getting them stably housed.

Jessica Wright is Tempe’s new homeless solutions manager; she started the job less than two months ago.

The Show spoke with her to learn what it means for the city that there are two more outreach specialists coming on board to help folks.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.