Large structure under the North Austin Bridge highlights hidden homeless people

AUSTIN (KXAN) – After the ban on homeless camping came into force in 2021, many homeless people moved off the freeways and overpasses, but a recent video of a structure under a bridge in North Austin shows that some people is becoming cunning.

Video on social media showed the structure near Braker Lane and the MoPac Expressway. It has wooden floors, a storage area for bicycles and other supplies, it also has a large living area.

Advocacy for homeless and outreach groups like “We Can Now” has been offering resources and food to people for years, but after the camping ban, CEO Anthony Jackson said many people go where they can to find shelter.

“Absolutely we’ve seen such structures because it’s still survival,” Jackson said. “We have to understand that these people, our uninhabited population, it’s survival for them every single day. It’s weather they’re up against. It’s food. It’s hygiene, water, clothes, all the necessary things. , which we all need as human beings.

We can now”Feed the homeless once a week. They used to establish themselves near East Cesar Chavez Street, but since the camping ban came into force, they are now going out into the woods to serve their customers.

“A lot of people wanted them not to be out in public, but that does not solve the problem, so now, as you can see, we have a large population that is in the woods,” Jackson said.

The Texas Department of Transportation tells KXAN that freeways and underpasses are not safe places for people to live.

In 2014, a person living under a highway underpass near US 183 and the Great Hills Trail died after falling 15 feet while sleeping.

Fire can also be a danger and cause damage to highways. In 2021, a fire at a camp caused damage to an overflight connecting East Ben White Boulevard to I-35 in southern Austin.

APD and city partners, including Parks and Leisure, Public Works, Austin Resource Recovery and Watershed Protection, enforce the law and work with the people affected. The City’s Homeless Outreach Street Team and Downtown Austin Community Court social workers help ensure that individuals experiencing homelessness can access support services.

In the meantime below ALL The initiative, designed to address unprotected homelessness in Austin, has more than 150 people living in the most unsafe camps relocated to rooms on city-owned bridge shelters and attached to long-term housing.

The city of Austin and its partner agencies successfully moved more than 1,700 people into housing and out of homelessness by 2021.

According to TxDOT, the city is responsible for clearing camps under highways within the city limits.

Austin Public Works tells KXAN that they perform cleaning at 58 locations on a monthly rotation. Not all places need cleaning every month due to the enforcement of the camping ban. Each place in the rotation is checked every month.

The city tells KXAN that there were 602 cleanups at the site in 2021, and so far in 2022, there have been seven cleanups.

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