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Published May 8, 2017

By Christina Estes, Annika Cline, Stina Sieg, Mariana Dale

Listen to the full Homeless in Plain Sight series

We see them every day. The man standing along the freeway ramp asking for money. The woman, dressed in layers, pushing a shopping cart. People walking into libraries carrying bags stuffed with personal belongings.

Comments are made among co-workers, friends and family. It seems many people are talking around the issue of homelessness, but not really talking about it.

The elephant in the room is the person on the street

KJZZ hopes to start a community conversation by launching a five-part series on homelessness in the Valley. Explore the topics on this page for an in-depth look at the people and businesses affected, what's being done to improve things, and the most effective ways you can help.

More information
  • Here are key terms used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to define homelessness. These definitions are important because they determine who can receive help from certain programs, and keep data consistent across areas.
  • While reporting on the series Homeless in Plain Sight, KJZZ reporters compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers surrounding the topic of homelessness. Here they are.
  • They’re easy to spot as you drive around the Valley: people holding signs asking for handouts. Many people asked us why there are so many panhandlers and what police and government entities are doing about it. Here’s what we found.

Who worked on this story

Reporting: Christina Estes, Annika Cline, Stina Sieg, Mariana Dale
Editor: Al Macias
Digital: Jackie Hai, Kaleigh Shufeldt, Sky Schaudt
Graphic Design: Ambar Favela
Music: Bensound, Lee Rosevere