Image Source: KNXV-TV YouTube video screenshot composite
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A couple in Phoenix, Arizona, say they're losing a rental lease over complaints against them for providing a bucket of water bottles for homeless people blocks away from the largest encampment in the downtown area.
Jessica Spencer and Sophia Dencel told KNXV-TV that people complained about blight after homeless people came to their home to get free bottles of water.
"If this resource wasn't necessary then it wouldn't be used as frequently as it's being used, and it's being used constantly," said Dencel.
They said that the city of Phoenix sent a letter detailing complaints about homeless people in their residential area, blight from used plastic bottles, and outdoor storage of bottled water on their front porch.
"We just set this up right here because we wanted to make it as easy as possible for people who didn't have to come onto the property but could still get water," explained Spencer.
Spencer said that she hears sirens from police and firefighters going by about ten times a day, likely because of the homeless encampment. She also asked for clarification on what storage was acceptable but said she only received a vague answer.
The couple said that the landlord told them he would not be renewing their lease and would not go to a month-by-month option because they were using the property in a manner not consistent with residential occupancy.
They acknowledge that they don't have a legal right to stay in the home, but they hope that speaking to the press will encourage homeowners in the area to put out water bottles for the homeless.
"If anything positive could come from this situation it would be specifically that property owners to do what we've done," said Dencel, "and hopefully set a precedent against this idea that giving people water is blight."
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Carlos Garcia is a staff writer for Blaze News.