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Austin, TX passes ordinance allowing homeless to camp on city sidewalks; Governor Abbot promises to override it

EviLore

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Local news, but broader implications that warrant a discussion about the dangers of blind compassion in social policy. How is mandating a new Skid Row going to help people?



AUSTIN (KXAN) — Changes to the way the City of Austin and its police department will handle homeless people go into effect Monday after the city passed an ordinance largely decriminalizing the act of sitting, laying or camping in public places.

Proponents of the rule change have argued that this will help homeless people break the cycle of homelessness. A city audit report in November of 2017 found that Austin’s policies limiting camping, sitting, or lying in public spaces may make it more difficult for people to leave homelessness because of a criminal record or arrest warrants. The report also suggested that Austin’s current ordinances pose legal risks because of lawsuits faced by other cities with similar policies.
David Johnson with Grassroots Leadership said if a homeless person is cited for sleeping in a public place, you have warrants, you’re arrested, then you lose your belongings because you don’t have a place to store them. Then it creates a cycle where you return to the streets.”

In June, Austin’s Ending Community Homelessness Coalition explained that these citations related to the camping/ sit-lie ordinance were actively prevention homeless individuals they worked with from getting into housing.
Public input over this ordinance has been tense and heated, at the June 20 council meeting, so many people signed up to speak — both for and against the changes– that the council didn’t get to vote on the changes until 2 a.m.

In an email to the police department, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said he told City Council that APD “would be limited in our ability to address many of the quality of life calls we get (and usually handle without citation or arrest) given the new thresholds of hazardous or dangerous.”
Camping on private property or in city parks is still not allowed, but camping in public spaces will be allowed.

APD officers will also have to give a person “notice” if they are violating the new camping rules and give them “reasonable amount of time to cease the violating behavior prior to taking enforcement action.”

Camping at City Hall was banned in 2012 after Occupy Austin protesters refused to leave for months
. While that rule continues, for now, City Manager Spencer Cronk has been tasked with identifying safe camping areas and to propose reasonable limitations on camping. City Council will take that issue up in the months to come.

Texas Governor Greg Abbot:

 

EviLore

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When I watched the Seattle documentary, Seattle is Dying, it warns the viewer that this could very well come to your city. This lax enforcement in Austin is a marker on how it starts. (Look at any major coastal city).

Good luck Texas, I hope you can curb this post haste.
Yep, great documentary. It also highlights that these are drug problems first and foremost, which get no recognition from city officials. Same issue here: no mention of drugs.
 

merlinevo

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Have a proper social assistance program in place so there are no homeless people.

Problem solved.
Let's give people who don't want help more free stuff, that would solve everything.

The vast majority of these homeless people are broken. They have no skills, criminal records, and lack the desire to live a productive life anymore. It is a lost cause and there is no helping for the vast majority of them. The solution is not to pay them off with money so they can buy drugs and alchol. Homeless conjugate because of the pull factor. What many of naive liberals don't understand when they give money to the homeless is that will draw in more homeless.

We need to create homeless camps far removed from civilized society so that these "free folk" can spend their time together there. That is the most humane solution to this homeless problem.
 

Guynamedbilly

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I can't decide where I stand on this. On the one hand I think politics should be as local as possible, so municipal and metro governments should be able to pass laws that only affect them.

On the other hand, Austin is a large city so it is very important to Texas on that point alone. Although, if Austin wants to make itself a cesspool, then that transfers influence away from the city because people will leave for other liberal dreamweaver cities. That would probably be good for the conservatives in Texas et al.

Maybe the state should just let this one go.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I'm thrilled this kind of nonsense is constrained to local governments who sneak it through. It obviously leads to a huge number of problems, so the majority of other cities can watch in horror from the outside and avoid the bad policies themselves.

Thank you, Austin TX, for blundering into this so the rest of us don't have to. Hoping for a swift recovery from your virtue signaling disease.
 

merlinevo

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Well that is a pretty dumb assumption, don't you think?
I know you are far removed from the situation and can only offer your wonderful "outside" perspective from the comfort of your keyboard, but that assumption is mostly true. In orange county california, the homeless people were allowed to camp because the courts ruled that it was unconstitutional to arrest them without providing them assistance. The county built homeless shelters and the majority of the homeless refused, citing the strict rules they have such as : no alcohol, must look for work, must sleep before certain hours. So many of the homeless are out in the streets continuing their destructive behavior.

Help was given and help was refused by the vast majority of the homeless. This is not a situation of unlucky folks who lost their home and now sleeps in their car. This is a situation where drug addiction and hopelessness from Obama's anti white policies have caused many in the midwest to come to areas where the weather is good, the police is ineffective, and the government leaders are weak on crime.
 

oagboghi2

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Have a proper social assistance program in place so there are no homeless people.

Problem solved.
Stop talking, please.

San Francisco has tons of social assistance programs for the poor and the homeless. It doesn't make a dent.

Texans should stand their ground, and fight these retarded changes. Don't allow California transplants, who ruined their home state, to move to Texas and continue their, frankly stupid policies
 

finowns

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May 10, 2009
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Have a proper social assistance program in place so there are no homeless people.

Problem solved.
More money isn't going to solve the problem. San Francisco pays 100 million a year for the homeless and the problem is worse than ever. Do you think doubling the 100 mil will get it done? 500 million? 1 billion?

edit - excuse me San Francisco paid 241 million in 2016 and expected the budget to go to 300 million+ the following 2017. God knows where it's at now.
 
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DeepEnigma

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Stop talking, please.

San Francisco has tons of social assistance programs for the poor and the homeless. It doesn't make a dent.

Texans should stand their ground, and fight these retarded changes. Don't allow California transplants, who ruined their home state, to move to Texas and continue their, frankly stupid policies
It is like a virus moving from host to host.

I notice that everywhere dealing with real estate. They move from their overtaxed, high cost of living democratic strongholds (like Chicago, NY, LA, Seattle, etc.), to ones without all the high tax burdens, claim they are moving due to cost of living and all those factors, then vote the very same policies (and team) that want to introduce the shit they were running away from. It is like a Stockholm mental disorder.
 
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btgorman

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It is like a virus moving from host to host.

I notice that everywhere dealing with real estate. They move from their overtaxed, high cost of living democratic strongholds (like Chicago, NY, LA, Seattle, etc.), to ones without all the high tax burdens, claim they are moving due to cost of living and all those factors, then vote the very same policies (and team) that want to introduce the shit they were running away from. It is like a Stockholm mental disorder.



 
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diablos991

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This is how you get unlivable cities with high crime and feces spread everywhere.

One way ticket to ruining your city. Glad they are going to override this.
 
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Rentahamster

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Proponents of the rule change have argued that this will help homeless people break the cycle of homelessness.
Hm.
Is there data that supports this claim? From what I can tell, the policies that make a dent in homelessness are drug decriminalization, drug and mental health rehabilitation programs, strict and consistent law enforcement, and giving the homeless, ya know, homes.
 
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dragonfart28

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More money isn't going to solve the problem. San Francisco pays 100 million a year for the homeless and the problem is worse than ever. Do you think doubling the 100 mil will get it done? 500 million? 1 billion?
I never said it was only about money.

But you have to resolve it some how. That's the solution, regardless if you like it or not.
 
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dragonfart28

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Just emulate places that don't have a homelessness problem.

It's not a widespread problem anyway and it gets better over time. You'll never get to 0 but 2% is probably feasible and you won't see a substantial amount of skid rows anyway.
 
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GloveSlap

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I honestly feel bad for these cities. They are trying to be compassionate, but by doing so they end up having the homeless population from all over the country flood their cities. Other states/cities can pat themselves on the back because they drove off or locked up their homeless, but these people aren't going anywhere.
 

#Phonepunk#

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only been through Austin a few times, for SXSW. way too much money flows through that city. it is a media hub. interesting how the big media hubs that are the liberal islands of their states turn out to have huge homeless problems.

it's pretty bad in Atlanta but we have been shutting down centers for over a decade now. Hurricane Katrina created a lot of homeless that spread all over the south. this immigration thing is going to exacerbate the issue.
 

Trojita

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The Austin report says the biggest issue is there isn't enough shelter space. Unlike cities on the west coast that can't seem to build shelters due to space constraints and NIMBYism, Austin should be able to open up a few more shelters.

I was surprised to read that the ordinance currently prohibits people sleeping in their car.

David Johnson with Grassroots Leadership said if a homeless person is cited for sleeping in a public place, you have warrants, you’re arrested, then you lose your belongings because you don’t have a place to store them. Then it creates a cycle where you return to the streets.”
This didn't go into enough detail. The Austin report says that Austin PD generally tells the homeless to move and gives them 30 minutes before they right a summons. 90% never show up to court (no shit they're homeless), so now a warrant for their arrest is out. They might not be able to find the homeless to bring them into court, but that warrant is going to prevent most things to make the homeless person not homeless.
 

pennythots

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Lot of homeless are vets suffering from mental issues and coping with various addictions. There is no simple fix but I'd like to try and follow what other countries are doing to bring homelessness down.
 

kegkilla

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It is like a virus moving from host to host.

I notice that everywhere dealing with real estate. They move from their overtaxed, high cost of living democratic strongholds (like Chicago, NY, LA, Seattle, etc.), to ones without all the high tax burdens, claim they are moving due to cost of living and all those factors, then vote the very same policies (and team) that want to introduce the shit they were running away from. It is like a Stockholm mental disorder.
Just replace "humans" with "Democrats"
 

autoduelist

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My city's homeless problem is exploding.

Public walking/bike routes that used to be tourist destinations are now tent cities. Trash, shit, needles, drunks, danger.

Driving around town you'll see tents set up in parks. Abandoned lots. Along roads.

Sometimes they get their hands on campers and set them up along roads. They're there for months. Twice we've seen them eventually just be set on fire.

These lower property values. We were house searching 3 years ago. Fell in love with a house. We were discussing our offer as we drove off, and just happened to leave in the opposite direction. A lot around the corner [same block, maybe 7 houses away if you turn the corner] had 15 tents. That's a hard pass.

Last week we had two tents on the shoulder of the f'ing road around the block from us. They were there about a week before police finally moved them along.

This is how you destroy a city. This isn't helping anyone. And the long our city allows it, the harder it will be to fix.
 
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desertdroog

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The Austin report says the biggest issue is there isn't enough shelter space. Unlike cities on the west coast that can't seem to build shelters due to space constraints and NIMBYism, Austin should be able to open up a few more shelters.

I was surprised to read that the ordinance currently prohibits people sleeping in their car.



This didn't go into enough detail. The Austin report says that Austin PD generally tells the homeless to move and gives them 30 minutes before they right a summons. 90% never show up to court (no shit they're homeless), so now a warrant for their arrest is out. They might not be able to find the homeless to bring them into court, but that warrant is going to prevent most things to make the homeless person not homeless.
Someone from the area (@EviLore) correct me if I am wrong, however Austin's issue for space is that they are pretty much surrounded by private ranch lands. So the only place they have to go is up. I know that the Hill country is pretty much all privately owned, but wasn't sure if there were any BLM land or areas owned by the municipality to handle the pipe dream of building housing for the homeless.
 
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Breakage

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Those videos of the camps are crazy. What kind of person votes to allow this kind of stuff? Surely they know it's gonna encourage criminality and generally make the area unpleasant.
 
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Oct 26, 2018
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Just emulate places that don't have a homelessness problem.

It's not a widespread problem anyway and it gets better over time. You'll never get to 0 but 2% is probably feasible and you won't see a substantial amount of skid rows anyway.
So true.

It's not like every town or city in the country has skid rows where people have no place to go except living on sidewalks.

So something is being done right at other places.

Is Austin that broke of a city they have money to help with social programs? Isn't Austin always one of those cities which does well and is favoured as a tech hub? Should be lots of taxes floating around in government coffers.
 
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MetalAlien

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All the homeless around where I live pile fucking garbage up everywhere they stay. Sometimes within a stones throw from a large dumpster that they don't use. They take over a field or a park and it looks like a land fill.

Why should I have respect for you when you don't have respect for yourself?
 
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rorepmE

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So true.

It's not like every town or city in the country has skid rows where people have no place to go except living on sidewalks.

So something is being done right at other places.

Is Austin that broke of a city they have money to help with social programs? Isn't Austin always one of those cities which does well and is favoured as a tech hub? Should be lots of taxes floating around in government coffers.
Austin literally wants to be like San Francisco complete with poop app.
 
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