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Into the trees: Rural housing shortages push some into forests, parking lots

Posted by   /  December 3, 2017  /  No Comments

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As the volunteer homeless liaison for the Payson Police Department, Doug Stewart (right) drives around with supplies he’s bought himself to hand out to homeless people./from azcentral video

In the country’s losing effort to house everybody, rural Americans are often overlooked. And in Gila County, there are few safety nets.

By Alden Woods | The Republic

PAYSON — This place provided nothing, so Doug Stewart tried to prepare for everything. He filled his Jeep with blankets for the cold and tents for the rain, ham-and-cheese sandwiches for the hungry and a full tank of gas to take people out of Gila County. Then he drove to Walmart.

He rolled into the parking lot, past the people who held cardboard signs at each entrance, past a dozen people who slept in their cars every night. Even more people camped in the woods behind the store, and into the trees walked Stewart, 46, to find Theresa.


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  • Published: 3 months ago on December 3, 2017
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  • Last Modified: December 3, 2017 @ 8:01 pm
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