We Have an Issue: Where Do We Go From Here?
In this week’s issue, Austin Sanders explores the city’s next steps to address the homelessness crisis
Following voter approval in May of Proposition B, which recriminalized public camping, the makeshift communities that sprang up under overpasses, along medians, in wooded areas, and elsewhere are slowly disappearing. Enforcement has been rolling out in phases. In Phase 3, starting July 11, the Austin Police Department will issue a citation if a written warning has already been issued; APD pledges that arrests for violating the camping ordinance will only happen in situations where individuals refuse to vacate areas that have been deemed dangerous for the public. In the fourth, final phase, starting August 8, any individual violating the camping ordinance may be taken into custody if an officer issues a citation and the individual does not voluntarily leave the area.
Which is all to say, the tent cities that have polarized our community – they're not really the story anymore. Sanctioned campsites are still very much a part of the conversation about how to help our unhoused neighbors, one of several working solutions the city is exploring, as Austin Sanders lays out in this week's cover story. ("Not working fast enough," you and I both have likely grumbled at some point.) No matter where you came down on Prop B, I hope that you come to this story with an open mind and a willingness to embrace the nuance and complexity of the issue. Because the problem of too many people living on the streets hasn't gone away. Only the visual reminder of them on your morning commute has.
Online This Week
A Second Home Win? As the Chronicle went to press Wednesday, the Austin FC squad was taking the pitch at Q2 Stadium against LAFC, following last Thursday's historic first win at home. Read "The Verde Report" columnist Eric Goodman's recap online at austinchronicle.com/austin-fc.
Day Trips & Beyond: Captain Day Trips himself, Gerald E. McLeod, rounds up the festivals, swimming holes, and terrifying worms you'll want to check out across the state this month.
Soup's On! Wayne Alan Brenner samples a new frozen soup brand, and considers Austin's own Soup Peddler and Chop Chop, too.
aGLIFF Gets Blitzed: The All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival will kick off Aug. 26 with music doc Blitzed: The 80s Blitz Kids Story, which tells the history of the revolutionary group of West London young adults who shaped the fashion, music, and overall culture of the Eighties.