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Maricopa Association of Governments volunteers conduct homeless count

The Maricopa Association of Governments sent hundreds of volunteers across the county Tuesday for its annual count of homeless people.

Nicky Stevens, program manager for the count, says the stories of homeless people can be painful to hear, such as the woman who wound up on the streets six days after surgery.

“Just to hear that she had open heart surgery and is now sleeping on the streets was very heartbreaking," Stevens said. 

The count is done to help the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development set funding levels.

The count was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

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Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.