Couple Evicted for Helping the Homeless

A couple from Phoenix, Arizona says they are losing their rental lease because of complaints about them providing water bottles to homeless people a few blocks away.

Jessica Spencer and Sophia Dencel said to KNXV-TV people complained of blight when homeless people visited their homes to receive free bottles of water.

Dencel said, “If it wasn’t needed then it wouldn’t be used so frequently and constantly as it is.”

The city of Phoenix had sent them a letter with complaints about the homeless in their area, blight caused by used plastic bottles, and the outdoor storage of bottled drinking water on their porch.

Spencer explained that they set up the water station right there because they wanted to make sure people didn’t need to enter their property to get water.

Spencer reported that the homeless camp is likely to be responsible for her hearing sirens ten times per day. She asked for clarification about what kind of storage was acceptable but only got a vague response.

The couple claimed that their landlord informed them he wouldn’t be renewing the lease, and wouldn’t go with a month-to-month option as they used the property in an unsuitable manner for residential occupancy.

The homeless are aware that they do not have the legal right to live in their home. However, they hope that by speaking out to the media they will be able to encourage other homeowners to leave water bottles outside for them.

Dencel said that if anything good could be gained from this situation, it would be for property owners to follow our example and set a precedent that watering people is not blight.