Homeless camp cleanups underway in Texas, per Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders

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1:07 pm CST, Wednesday, November 6, 2019

TxDOT crew members cleanup a homeless encampment under the Interstate 35 overpass Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in Austin.

TxDOT crew members cleanup a homeless encampment under the Interstate 35 overpass Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in Austin.

Photo: Godofredo A. Vasquez/Staff Photographer

Photo: Godofredo A. Vasquez/Staff Photographer

TxDOT crew members cleanup a homeless encampment under the Interstate 35 overpass Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in Austin.

TxDOT crew members cleanup a homeless encampment under the Interstate 35 overpass Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in Austin.

Photo: Godofredo A. Vasquez/Staff Photographer

Homeless camp cleanups underway in Texas, per Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders

After months of sparring with city leaders, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is following through on a threat to address Austin’s homelessness issue.

For months, Abbott has been posting on social media about homeless people allegedly committing crimes around the capital of Texas. On Monday, he ordered an intervention to clean up the city’s multiple homeless encampments.

See photos from Austin of Abbott’s controversial clean-up of homeless camps in the gallery above.

“It’s a slow process and won’t be completed in one day, but steady progress is being made,” Abbott posted to Twitter Monday, alongside pictures of the work. “Our goal is to make Austin safer while also providing better alternatives for the homeless.”

A controversial policy in Austin lets people camp in public. The city also loosened bans panhandling, as well as sitting or lying down on public sidewalks.

Supporters say the policies help stop criminalizing homelessness, while Abbott argues the policy has sparked a crisis in Austin.

ONLY ON HOUSTONCHRONICLE.COM: Austin’s homeless navigate the battle between the city and Greg Abbott

“It makes me wanna go slap the governor and say, ‘Hey man, you gotta think about this,'” Gabriela Roque, who has been homeless nearly a year, said in a recent Houston Chronicle story. “Here’s the question that needs to be asked more often: How are we supposed to get things done when they can’t make up their damn minds on what the hell they wanna do with the damn law?”

The tangible effect of Abbott’s clean-up is still unclear, as the city can’t keep people from returning to the camps once the clean-up is complete.

“They passed a law that people could tent out here. Then you go back on your word,” said Kendall Cook, a 48-year-old Austinite who lost his apartment when he went to jail and has been homeless on and off for the past three years.

Read Houston Chronicle reporter Sarah Smith’s latest report out of Austin here.

Jordan Ray is a homepage producer for the Houston Chronicle. Follow him on Twitter. Read his work on our breaking news site, Chron.com, and on our subscriber site, HoustonChronicle.com. | [email protected] 

MORE FROM SARAH SMITH: She was a nurse for 20 years. Now she’s homeless on the streets of Houston.





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Source : chron.com