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People experiencing homelessness at higher risk for heat-related illness, death

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, estimates show extreme heat leads to about 1,300 deaths every year. Some advocates say that half of those deaths are people experiencing homelessness.

Last year, Maricopa County alone saw 339 heat-associated deaths, at least 130 of those were homeless people.

The summer is expected to see higher than normal temperatures, and Arizona is already seeing temperatures reaching nearly 115 degrees.

Evictions in Phoenix have been trending back up since protections put in place at the start of the pandemic expired.

The head of Phoenix’s Office of Heat Response and Mitigation David Hondula says more solutions are needed to protect homeless people. He added they are 100-200 times more likely to die from heat illness.


Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.