There are several areas of undeveloped land within North Lamar/Georgian Acres which have been informally used for housing camps. Market-driven development as well as “Restore Rundberg” activities are displacing these camps. A “care team” of representatives from Caritas, the VA (Veteran’s Administration), ATCIC (Austin Travis County Integral Care), Front Steps, ECHO (Ending Community Homelessness Coalition), DACC (Downtown Austin Community Court) and LifeWorks has been formed. According to Michael Willard of Goodwill, “The purpose of this team will be to inform the folks of available services and assess for appropriate referrals. Of course it will be the decision of the individual to access the available services or housing.”
The team has been working at the property along Little Walnut Creek just west of the interstate. According to Willard, “One thing that was very apparent is that it will take more than 24 hours for some of the individuals to pack up and move. It was reported that some of these folks have been living on the property for more than 10 years. The campsites were very elaborate structures with multiple rooms.”
Here is a summary of next steps:
- Ask for more time to relocate. It appears that it will take more than a week for some folks to move out.
- Second Outreach & Assessment. The purpose of this activity is to better define the number of folks living at the site and their needs.
- Locate secured storage.
- Locate facilities for pets.
- Locate transportation to storage/housing.
- Evaluate the strategy of filing Property Owner Complaints.
In another part of Austin, the city is considering providing public toilets and showers for a homeless camp Public restrooms proposed to tamp down fecal matter in
streams (American Statesman, August 6, 2014)
Objective Q.9: Preserve housing affordability throughout the planning areas.
Objective L.5: Increase the housing options and/or homeownership opportunities within the planning areas.