— More than a dozen people who live in Phoenix’s downtown Phoenix neighborhood were left stranded on Tuesday night because they could not get into the restaurant where they were supposed to be eating, and they were told to wait outside, a spokeswoman for the city said.
The workers, all of whom were staying at a hotel in the city’s north end, say they were in a group of about 30 when they were ordered to stay outside because there was no room in the restaurant.
Phoenix police said they were not immediately available to comment on the situation.
The Phoenix restaurant has been the scene of numerous violence and other incidents since January, when the city announced a crackdown on the citywide problem of people camping out in parks and parksides to get food and other services.
“We’re trying to get them out, but we can’t,” said the hotel worker, who asked that his name not be used.
He said he was staying at the hotel for a short time with his girlfriend and their two young children.
On Tuesday, several police officers were seen at the motel and in some other locations where the workers were staying, police spokeswoman Sarah Kavanagh said.
Some of the workers said the officers took them away, and others said they could see them in a video posted to Facebook by a group called Phoenix Unite Against Homelessness.
There are no hotels or other lodging facilities in the area, Kavanagh said.
A spokesperson for the restaurant said the group has been working to get workers housed.
We have offered to assist the homeless community in Phoenix in the past, but they were being denied services by our city, said the manager of the Phoenix-area restaurant, who didn’t want to be identified.
While the workers are waiting outside, some people who are not homeless are coming and going through the city, she said.
Many of the homeless workers are on disability and are often living on the streets.
About 80 percent of homeless people in the United States are living in hotels, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
A spokesman for the U,U.S., Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement that the government is “monitoring this issue and will provide resources to help homeless individuals who have experienced harassment.”