Austin, Texas--Voters have spoken. Proposition B was put to a vote and it passed, making camping illegal. Austin residents don't want to see tent cities defacing the city. Tent cities are popping up all around the city and especially at Austin City Hall before the ban goes into effect next week.
“We’re out here in solidarity– literal solidarity of our unhoused friends,” says Sam, a member of The Little Petal Alliance, one of a handful of non-profits partnering to organize the camp-in.
And goes on to say:
“It will be a death sentence for a lot of people if we don’t fight it and make sure the police don’t enforce it,” Sam says.
James Ford, a homeless person who has been experiencing homelessness for about four years was initially irritated and took a "heck (expletive removed) no, we won't go" approach.
Austin City Council member Greg Casar said Prop B was not a solution to homelessness in Austin:
"As results roll in, I expect the results for Prop B will get closer," Casar said on Election Day. "But I do not believe Austin is as divided as this election makes it seem. The overwhelming majority of Austinites share a common goal, no matter how folks voted on Prop B. We all want to get people out of tents and into homes. Our community must come together after this election and house 3,000 more people because we can only solve homelessness with homes, not handcuffs."
But the Mayor says tent cities were never to be a permanent solution and now we need to hear from the Austin City Manager for guidance on how to disperse the tent congregations.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler says:
"There is a question as to where people should go because we don't have enough places for people to be able to go. And right now, we could get people to move from one place, but they're going to go somewhere else. We have to provide better places, more so a greater number of places for people to be," Adler said.
The big question on everyone's mind is how will homeless people be moved from camps around Austin and where will they go?
We are in a wait-and-see approach. Austin City Officials say more details will be available soon.
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