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Austin reconsiders homelessness strategy, now plotting new plan

SAN ANTONIO (Texas News Radio) — The City of Austin may be rethinking its strategy to take on homelessness on its streets.

KEYE-TV reports that after the Austin city council approved an ordinance allowing sitting, lying and camping in public places, people living in the area have noticed an uptick in homeless camps creating safety and health problems.

Austin mayor Steve Adler and two Austin city council members released a new plan Tuesday to take on the homelessness problem.

Some of the ideas appear as an apparent backtrack of the ordinance passed in late June, which include banning camping, sitting and lying in places that are near roadways, sidewalks, schools, waterways and areas with high pedestrian activity.

However, Adler said in a post on his website that his city needs to provide more services.

“Prohibiting camping, sitting, and lying, without providing people with a place to go, is a failed strategy,” Adler wrote.  “Moving people experiencing homelessness away from one public place only moves them to another public place.  Ticketing or arresting people, or threatening to do so, merely for being homeless and having no good option for where else to go, is inhumane and counterproductive.”

He is seeking public input on the plan, calling it a ‘community agreement’ to reduce homelessness in the city.

The plan includes “rapid rehousing”, which would help people secure housing through rent subsidization; offering support services; providing shelters to those in need; and day services centers.

Homeless now allowed to camp on Austin streets, but not near city hall



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