Photo Essay: Homeless Hideouts, Tucson, Arizona

One of the more visible signs of our tough economy is the increase in homeless people.

To be sure, Tucson has long been a wintertime magnet for those who are down on their luck. After all, where would you rather be on the streets in January? Minneapolis? Or here in Arizona?

In central Tucson, our city parks are a popular daytime hangout for the homeless. In Mansfield Park, one of the ramadas has become a gathering spot for transient backpackers and shopping cart pushers.

This ramada is right next to Mansfield Park’s popular walking path, but so far, the exercisers and the homeless have coexisted. The sentiment seems to be, “Oh, well. At least they’re not the Crips.” (A few years ago, this same ramada was the preferred location for gang member meetups.)

Since Tucson city parks close at 10 p.m. and are patrolled by police, overnight camping isn’t an option. So, the homeless go elsewhere and find places where they’re not easily seen. Here’s one hideout along Sixth Avenue just south of Mansfield Park…

Photo essays - Homeless hideout, Tucson, Arizona

And here’s another one in a vacant restaurant property on First Avenue near Grant Road…

Photo essays - Homeless hideout, Tucson, Arizona

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