Due to “upcoming construction work,” the city of Austin has announced clearing out homeless encampments around the City Hall.
People had moved their camps around the City Hall in opposition to the city’s camping ban that was put back into place by the passing of Proposition B in May.
According to the city, those who camped around City Hall near the intersection of Guadalupe and Cesar Chavez were informed about the construction “within the last 30 days” by members of the Homeless Outreach Street Team and Austin Police Department representatives.
The city further said that those who have set up a camp on the north side of City Hall are “trespassing” and must remove them now or pay a penalty. These people may be jailed also. The implementation of Proposition B’s second part kicked off on Sunday.
A man named Antonio Jackson had set up a tent outside the City Hall and was living in it. However, his tent was removed, prompting him to question authorities: “What would happen if you lost everything you had and the City of Austin said you can’t sleep in a tent? How would you feel?”
Jackson has now moved to the Ben White Blvd. and Manchaca Rd. underground way.
People arrested for ‘interfering’ in official initiatives
Seven persons were reportedly detained earlier this morning in Austin on accusations of interfering with official duties and refusing to follow a legal order, according to a city representative.
The city said it is “actively” looking for options to increase temporary shelter capacity and create designed campsites in the near future. As of now, Downtown Austin Community Court is giving people access to storage bins.
For the next two years, the Austin City Council has chosen to spend 58 percent of its money from the American Rescue Plan, or about $84 million, on homeless services. Before going on summer holidays, the council passed a structure for spending more than $107 million to fight homelessness. The next meeting of the council is scheduled for July 29.
The Bottom Line
Austin must be saved. The group that rallied to get Proposition B on the November ballot now claims the council is not acting “quickly and adequately.”
Greg Casar, a member of the Austin City Council, says the city is attempting to expand facilities and accommodation for homeless people. One approach, according to Casar, is to increase the capacity of homeless shelters throughout the city.