By PAUL J. WEBER and CLARICE SILBER Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ Republican governor is creating a homeless campsite on state land amid an escalating battle with liberal leaders in the state capital over people living on the streets.
National advocates for the homeless said Thursday they couldn’t recall another state making such a move, which follows Gov. Greg Abbott’s months-long feud with Austin on Twitter.
The encampment site covers 5 acres on the outskirts of downtown. Abbott’s office says the homeless will have access to bathrooms and resources until new shelters open.
Austin has struggled with homelessness like other fast-growing U.S. cities as housing costs skyrocket. On Wednesday, Las Vegas made sleeping on downtown streets illegal over protests about a “war on the poor.”
Homelessness became more visible in Austin this summer after the city allowed public camping.