Rising homelessness in Arizona is fueling worries among voters, transcending partisan boundaries and racial demographics, according to a new statewide poll commissioned by the Cicero Institute. The poll, conducted by Seminal Strategies, reveals that an overwhelming 78% of respondents view homelessness as a mounting, inescapable issue.
The concern is universal across political affiliations, with 74% of Hispanic and Democratic voters, and 80% and 79% of Republicans and Independents respectively, recognizing the increasing homelessness issue.
Eighty percent of respondents support relocating homeless individuals into shelters and advocating for increased funding for in-patient mental illness and addiction treatment, while 71% of respondents also call for state audits to track how cities and counties are utilizing funds meant to address homelessness.
Voters are also skeptical of policies that encourage outdoor camping, with 81% of those polled saying it’s more compassionate to provide shelter for homeless individuals rather than allowing them to camp freely, while 71% oppose street camping when shelter options are available. A majority 60% even support a statewide ban on panhandling in public areas.
“This is an emerging issue where Arizonans are looking for solutions, and the data shows there is bipartisan agreement on the path forward,” Cicero Action Executive Director Bryan Sunderland said, “This is both a public safety and a humanitarian issue. Together, we can transform this challenge into an opportunity for lasting change.”
When asked about the root causes of homelessness, responses were split evenly among addiction, mental illness, and lack of affordable housing, each drawing 25% of the votes and highlighting the multifaceted nature of homelessness and the necessity for comprehensive, long-term solutions.
Pollsters interviewed 1,509 likely Arizona voters. The poll has a margin of error of 2.52%.