Concerns grow over issues in ‘The Zone’, downtown Phoenix homeless encampment

Police say a dead newborn was found in the street on Saturday
Police are investigating recent crimes at the downtown Phoenix homeless encampment known as the "The Zone".
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 9:54 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Concerns are growing over issues at a massive homeless encampment in Phoenix following a tragic discovery on Saturday.

Phoenix police say officers found a dead newborn lying in the street after someone called 911. Then, multiple tents caught fire on Monday morning, leaving one man badly injured. “There is just so much that goes on with drugs, theft, and assaults every night. There is never a dull moment,” said Joel Coplin.

Coplin lives and owns a studio on 11th Avenue and Jefferson, in the heart of ‘The Zone,’ the largest homeless encampment in Phoenix. Coplin and other residents and business owners in the area are suing the City of Phoenix. They say city leaders are failing to address the homeless population in ‘The Zone’ and claim it has become a public nuisance. “They’ve got the money to do it. I would like to see them take some action it,” said Coplin.

The City of Phoenix sent Arizona’s Family a statement saying, “The City of Phoenix is committed to addressing the needs of all residents and property owners as we work with local and regional partners to address the complex issues surrounding those experiencing homelessness.”