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homeless camping

Austin voters banned homeless people from camping in public spaces. The city is creating housing for them but not fast enough.
Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune

By Lucy Tompkins, The Texas Tribune and The New York Times

Early one morning in mid-August, police officers and cleanup crews met at Roy G. Guerrero Park in East Austin, where dozens of people have lived in tents and under tarps among the trees for months. Police and public health workers maneuvered ATVs along dirt trails, reminding people living there that they would have to leave soon.

Greg McCormack, a program manager for a city initiative that has moved dozens of people from the park and other encampments into shelter and eventually into housing, made the rounds. He knew there were not enough shelter beds for everyone there.

“We’re clearing this area soon,” McCormack said, approaching a man who was sitting outside his tent in a small clearing. The man was a recent arrival to the encampment. He asked McCormack where he was supposed to go.

“I don’t know,” McCormack told him. “If you’re new here, we won’t be able to help you with housing.”

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City files response to Save Austin Now lawsuit

Late (Tuesday) the City of Austin's outside attorney filed a response to the plaintiffs' (called relators in legal terms) request for a writ of mandamus to force the City Council to amend ballot language for Proposition B.

Proposition B will be on the May 1 ballot as a result of Save Austin Now's petition drive. If voter approved, the resulting ordinance would ban: camping in a public areas, soliciting in designated areas and sitting or lying down on public sidewalks.

Read the full story at The Austin Bulldog.

Group says petition to put Austin homeless camping on ballot drew 24k names
(Charlie L. Harper III/Austonia)

Leaders of the local nonprofit group "Save Austin Now" said Monday their effort to roll back a year-old city ordinance allowing camping in public spaces has drawn 24,000 petition signatures, well over the amount needed to put their initiative on the ballot in November.

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