Texas Governor Greg Abbott instructed state and city agencies to begin removing homeless encampments across Austin this week; responding to residents’ requests after the local government passed a law allowing public camping across the Capital.
“State agencies are moving in to clean up Austin, Texas after the capital city became a magnet for homeless vagrants, due to laws allowing people to camp out on the streets,” reports Fox News. “The project started on Monday morning as cleaning crews used leaf blowers and street sweepers to clear debris while they were guarded by state police.”
“Today is a day of action. We began posting notices that TxDOT will clean up homeless camps under highways in Austin starting Monday. Safety will improve soon. The homeless will be offered options for shelter, food, clothing & healthcare,” posted the Governor on social media.
Today is a day of action.
We began posting notices that TxDOT will clean up homeless camps under highways in Austin starting Monday.
Safety will improve soon.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 29, 2019
Source: Fox News
Original Story: October 24, 2019
Homeless camps and tent cities have sprung-up around Austin, Texas in recent months; sparking a fierce backlash from angry residents after officials eased regulations regarding “public camping.”
“The rising visibility of homelessness here is sparking a backlash. Some residents, police and business leaders have complained that people living on sidewalks are leaving trash, frightening other residents walking at night and creating a health hazard,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
“Some conservative state politicians say Austin is heading down the path of West Coast cities like San Francisco with large, highly visible homeless populations and are threatening to take action. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s office has said that if the city doesn’t show improvement by Nov. 1, the Texas Department of Transportation will begin clearing encampments under the bridges of state-owned roadways,” adds the WSJ.
Austin now ranks just behind Seattle with the highest number of homeless people adjusted for total population. Los Angeles ranks second, with San Francisco taking the top spot.
“Austin Mayor Steve Adler, a Democrat, said he didn’t expect so many people to begin camping in public and is open to adjusting the policy, but won’t return to pushing homeless people out of sight,” adds the newspaper.
Read the full report at the Wall Street Journal.