Culture, Cities Homelessness
November 8th, 2023 Podcast by Manhattan Insights

Phoenix's Homelessness Challenge: The Case Against "The Zone" | Ilan Wurman & Judge Glock

In Phoenix, Arizona, a massive downtown homeless encampment known as "The Zone" was recently cleared out following legal battles and a court order. For years, the area was filled with hundreds of tents lining the blocks of streets, leading to a rise in crime and serious complaints from local residents and businesses. At its height, The Zone held about 1,000 people.

Earlier this year, a successful state court lawsuit citing a "public nuisance" claim led to a judge ordering the city to permanently clear out the encampment and find beds for the people remaining. Our guest for this episode, Ilan Wurman, was an attorney for the plaintiffs in that case, Brown v. City of Phoenix.

Ilan Wurman is an associate professor at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, where he teaches administrative law and constitutional law. He talks with guest host Judge Glock (who served as an expert in the court case) about the lawsuit against the city of Phoenix and the problems with America's debate on homelessness. This conversation was recorded on October 9, before the city's deadline to clear The Zone.

Related Reading:
Phoenix finishes clearing downtown homeless encampment after finding shelter for more than 500, APNews, by Anita Snow
Taking a Stand Against “the Zone,” City Journal online, by Judge Glock
End of the Encampments?, City Journal, by Judge Glock