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A contentious Farm Bill heads to U.S. House for debate. Also on our rundown: gaps cited in protections for small-business employees and nonprofit volunteers; plus power out for much of Puerto Rico; and some warning signs, that increased youth activism may not correspond to voter turnout.

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Report Ranks 3 Arizona Cities Among "Most Caring"

Family members enjoy a visit to Scottsdale's McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. (City of Scottsdale)
Family members enjoy a visit to Scottsdale's McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. (City of Scottsdale)
December 23, 2015

PHOENIX - Do you live in a caring city? A new report says if you live in Scottsdale, Chandler or Gilbert, you do.

The three Arizona cities are ranked near the top of a list of the most caring cities in the nation, according to a new survey.

The group WalletHub has rated the country's 100 largest cities on 26 different factors in three general categories: caring for the community, caring for the vulnerable and homeless, and caring in the workforce.

WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez says Scottsdale in particular did well because it takes very good care of its homeless and other vulnerable residents.

"Scottsdale has a very high ranking in terms of the percentage of homeless that are sheltered there," says Gonzalez. "About 77 percent of all homeless people are sheltered there. And when we are just looking at overall poverty rates, both for children and adults, it's very low."

Gonzalez says Gilbert and Chandler also rated high based on how they care for the homeless and others. She said because they are smaller, more family-oriented cities, they generally have better available services and a lower crime rate.

She explains WalletHub looks at a wide variety of factors in determining how it rates the various cities.

"We look at the percentage of residents who claim to be doing favors for their neighbors," says Gonzalez. "Also civic engagement here, the percent of citizens that voted in the 2014 elections. We're looking really at the individuals here, and then the bigger picture of a community and city as a whole."

Gonzalez notes the city of Phoenix was in the bottom 20 percent of the survey ratings, mainly because it's a big city that must stretch its limited resources to take care of its people, along with having a much higher crime rate.

The study is online at WalletHub.com.


Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AZ