While the Eagles and Chiefs play out a sports drama this weekend for America’s entertainment, people struggling to eat and find shelter will see the drama of their lives compounded by the Big Game.
Many unhoused individuals and families in Phoenix, AZ—where the Superbowl will be played this weekend— rely on motels or hotels for shelter. They’re now being priced out of their usual accommodations, with room costs doubling, tripling, or climbing even higher during the event.
Local charities are saying the calls they get from families facing housing insecurities have increased significantly as a result.
Burdens on struggling families during the Super Bowl are nothing new. The City of Los Angeles shut down tent communities near the stadium where the event took place last year. Residents lost furniture they used for sleeping and were pushed out of the places they lived, without being provided alternative shelter.
This year’s crackdown comes at a time when Republican lawmakers in Arizona have introduced a bill that would destroy encampments and charge unsheltered people on private property with tresspassing. The proposed law does not include solutions for housing or shelter.
GO Humanity has two teams offering support to unsheltered people in Phoenix.
Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix, offers a free food pantry and holds numerous monthly volunteer events at food banks and other service providers.
Atheists Helping the Homeless Phoenix holds bimonthly giveaways of food, clothing, and other essentials—but the park where they usually do this has been taken over by the Super Bowl, and their usual clients are nowhere to be found. As a result, they’ve had to cancel one of February’s giveaways altogether.
GO Humanity gives these teams monthly grants to support their work, but they rely heavily on direct contributions from individuals. You can be one of these individuals by sponsoring one of the two teams right now.