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Body found near Lady Bird Lake as city officials clear out homeless camp

(Austonia)

A body was found at a homeless camp in southeast Austin on the Lady Bird Lake trail as city officials cleared the area Tuesday morning, according to Austin police.


Police responded to a check welfare call at the site off S. Pleasant Valley Road early Tuesday morning and found a body. APD said the death is not believed to be suspicious.

The campsite, which over 30 individuals called home on parkland near Lakeshore at Town Lake Metro Park, was cleared without a housing alternative because "shelter is at capacity," a city spokesperson said.

The site has grown since October, the city said, and was cleared to "ensure appropriate public access" to the area's amenities, including a walking trail encircling Lady Bird Lake.

Austin and its partners have cleared 1,700 homeless people into housing and conducted 602 site cleanups since a citywide homeless camping ban was reinstated in May 2021.

But with weather dipping to near-freezing temperatures Tuesday night, some residents are concerned that the homeless individuals will be unsafe without a shelter alternative.

"There is a sweep taking place and these people have no designated place to go," Antony Jackson, CEO of homelessness service provider "We Can Now," told KXAN. "So, they have to go into the woods."

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