Austin's homeless residents say Abbott's intervention is a short-term setback without a long-term solution
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Austin's homeless residents say Abbott's intervention is a short-term setback without a long-term solution

CARRINGTON TATUM |
November 5, 2019

TxDOT began removing property and debris from under Austin's highways as the number of places Austin ordinances let homeless people camp dwindles.


The sun warmed a North Austin sidewalk Monday before the state began clearing homeless communities under some of the city's highways. But there was no sunshine under U.S. Highway 183 near Burnet Road.

In the shadow of the overpass, a crisp wind carried the echo of traffic over abandoned luggage, books, bikes, mattresses and tents. The girded-up belongings of Austin’s homeless residents dotted a grid of concrete columns marked with notices of the Texas Department of Transportation's impending sweep of homeless encampments.

TxDOT officials last week posted notices that they would remove all remaining property from under overpasses at the order of Gov. Greg Abbott. John Wittman, a spokesman for the governor, said such clearings will be weekly under 17 overpasses — and could possibly be more frequent at the governor’s discretion.

“This is something we’re doing at the governor’s direction in support of public safety," TxDOT spokesman Bob Kaufman said. "These areas can be rather unsafe for people experiencing homelessness as well as people traveling, so we want to do the best we can to make it as safe as possible,” Kaufman said.

Credit by - The Texas tribune

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