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Austin Homeless Free for All Ordinance

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Get the official number of homeless according to the City of Austin.  Then do some maths.  How much do we directly "spend" on them.  Then how much is the G&A on the personnel and facilities that they use each year to do so.  Then add in the capital deployments by non-profits, churches, Salvation Army (just made a huge announcement today, in fact), state grants, federal grants, and Travis County assistance.  And again, factor in a pro-rated number for what it takes to "deploy" that money each year.  

There's a reason you can't find that number.  Or any of them.  

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1 hour ago, TKthunder2 said:

Do what San Antonio did.  Spend a couple million on a facility in Far East Austin that is equipped to receive the homeless and parter with local charities, church, community colleges and hospitals to provide these people a real chance to end their homelessness.  Do this in concert with passing very strict anti panhandling, trespassing, vagrancy, loitering laws and allowed trained officers to routinely patrol popular locations where homeless gather and transport them to this new facility.  Those with drug/alcohol problems or mental disorders will be put into a program (also located on site) while the others are monitored then moved into a halfway house type of situation and given food/clothing.  Once they’ve hit the minimum required stay they can be placed into an optional vocational training program and put on a path to gain employment with a city/community partner and moved into an additional halfway house outside of the intake facility.  Have a three strikes policy and then assign those that violate it real jail time as a deterrent for those who are picked up on their third time.  This would give those that want a path out of homelessness a real chance to turn their lives around and remove the homeless by choice from our streets. 

All of this.

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Do what San Antonio did.  Spend a couple million on a facility in Far East Austin that is equipped to receive the homeless and parter with local charities, church, community colleges and hospitals to provide these people a real chance to end their homelessness.  Do this in concert with passing very strict anti panhandling, trespassing, vagrancy, loitering laws and allowed trained officers to routinely patrol popular locations where homeless gather and transport them to this new facility.  Those with drug/alcohol problems or mental disorders will be put into a program (also located on site) while the others are monitored then moved into a halfway house type of situation and given food/clothing.  Once they’ve hit the minimum required stay they can be placed into an optional vocational training program and put on a path to gain employment with a city/community partner and moved into an additional halfway house outside of the intake facility.  Have a three strikes policy and then assign those that violate it real jail time as a deterrent for those who are picked up on their third time.  This would give those that want a path out of homelessness a real chance to turn their lives around and remove the homeless by choice from our streets. 

 

The inhumanity of it all...

 

But seriously...that sounds like a great idea.

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10 hours ago, TKthunder2 said:

Do what San Antonio did.  Spend a couple million on a facility in Far East Austin that is equipped to receive the homeless and parter with local charities, church, community colleges and hospitals to provide these people a real chance to end their homelessness.  Do this in concert with passing very strict anti panhandling, trespassing, vagrancy, loitering laws and allowed trained officers to routinely patrol popular locations where homeless gather and transport them to this new facility.  Those with drug/alcohol problems or mental disorders will be put into a program (also located on site) while the others are monitored then moved into a halfway house type of situation and given food/clothing.  Once they’ve hit the minimum required stay they can be placed into an optional vocational training program and put on a path to gain employment with a city/community partner and moved into an additional halfway house outside of the intake facility.  Have a three strikes policy and then assign those that violate it real jail time as a deterrent for those who are picked up on their third time.  This would give those that want a path out of homelessness a real chance to turn their lives around and remove the homeless by choice from our streets. 

This...

9 hours ago, UDontKnow said:

That should take care about 75% of the problem. For the remaining 25%, need to bring back long-term/permanent residential mental health facilities.

...and this

 

 

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1 hour ago, Neonmoon said:

This...

...and this

 

 

All of these.

What Austin is doing -- and seems to be considering doing more of -- is actually NOT compassionate.  Done right, compassion and sound and effective public policy can intersect.  It takes some thoughtfulness and some work, but it can be done.

A simple drive by the ARCH is all you need to realize that our current approach is actually counterproductive.  It benefits neither the homeless nor the greater community.

Hell, see what Mobile Loaves has done with its village.  And what other cities have done by simply providing housing to the members of the homeless population who are able to handle it.  It's cheaper, it's more helpful, more compassionate....better in every possible way.

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Austin is unsurprisingly embracing the west coast model for addressing homelessness and should expect similar results.  It's only a matter of time until human feces and used needles become part of the Austin experience.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, UDontKnow said:

That should take care about 75% of the problem. For the remaining 25%, need to bring back long-term/permanent residential mental health facilities.

Since many of our mental health institutions have been closed over the past half century, and adding in the additional laws put in place to protect the rights of people that were being involuntarily committed its become harder to coerce the  mentally infirm into a facility.  I’m sure someone is more knowledgeable than me on this subject but from what little I know, the only way to force someone is if they are convicted of a crime or if the court is able to prove that they are an immediate threat to themselves or others; which doesn’t really apply to someone who has been peacefully living under a bridge for weeks.  So unless those laws/policies change the only way to get these people the help they need is through the court/correctional system.  It’s an unfortunate requirement but if the homeless are given jail time they can be forcefully remanded to a mental health institution.  I’m all for fixing the myriad of issues with our health/mental healthcare system, but within our current structure this is the only real avenue that can address the homeless issue while looking out for their mental health.

Edited by TKthunder2

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1 minute ago, TKthunder2 said:

Since most of our mental health institutions have been closed over the past half century, and adding in the additional laws put in place to protect the right of people that were being involuntarily committed its become harder to coerce the  mentally infirm into a facility.  I’m sure someone is more knowledgeable than me on this subject but from what little I know, the only way to force someone is if they are convicted of a crime or if the court is able to prove that they are an immediate threat to themselves or others; which doesn’t really apply to someone who has been peacefully living under a bridge for weeks.  So unless those laws/policies change the only way to get these people the help they need is through the court/correctional system.  It’s an unfortunate requirement but if the homeless are given jail time they can be forcefully remanded to a mental health institution.  I’m all for fixing the myriad of issues with our health/mental healthcare system, but within our current structure this is the only real avenue that can address the homeless issue while looking out for their mental health.

I see mental health patients that have been brought in for "grave passive neglect" on a regular basis. It means that the patient is unable to care for self. Living under a bridge can possibly be interpreted as being unable to care for self especially if other behaviors are observed (e.g. wandering into traffic, eating out of dumpsters, etc.). Some police forces have Crisis Intervention Units that focus on diverting patients with severe mental illness from the criminal system. With a shake up of mental health systems, the CIUs can actually become more effective and the positive effect in reducing homelessness will become apparent downstream.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Lobo said:

 But for reals,  what’s the number that the mayor and council are using ?

350  (about)

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by clapclapclap
Put the shelters next to Eskimo Huts

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14 hours ago, Lobo said:

Get the official number of homeless according to the City of Austin.  Then do some maths.  How much do we directly "spend" on them.  Then how much is the G&A on the personnel and facilities that they use each year to do so.  Then add in the capital deployments by non-profits, churches, Salvation Army (just made a huge announcement today, in fact), state grants, federal grants, and Travis County assistance.  And again, factor in a pro-rated number for what it takes to "deploy" that money each year.  

There's a reason you can't find that number.  Or any of them.  

It sounds like what you're saying is that Ann Kitchens has been embezzling money earmarked for the homeless and should be in prison.

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Long time listener, first time caller.

What happens when a homeless person runs afoul of the ordinance *now*? Do they go directly to jail? Are they cited? Are they just told to skeedaddle?

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22 hours ago, Lobo said:

Anybody wanna take a guess as to the "official" homeless count as per City of Austin?  

 

19 hours ago, Lobo said:

 But for reals,  what’s the number that the mayor and council are using ?

 

14 hours ago, Lobo said:

Get the official number of homeless according to the City of Austin.  Then do some maths.  

There's a reason you can't find that number.  Or any of them.  

i feel like you're trying to tell us something

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20 minutes ago, Armin Tamzarian said:

Long time listener, first time caller.

What happens when a homeless person runs afoul of the ordinance *now*? Do they go directly to jail? Are they cited? Are they just told to skeedaddle?

Registered to vote and released.

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23 hours ago, TornACL said:

They should set up a giant drug addiction clinic in Bryan/College Station and ship all those worthless layabouts over there. 

Hey, I may be worthless and a layabout, but I uh, what was that third thing you said?

maxresdefault.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Concerned citizens tired of the city encouraging and catering to homeless at the expense of regular folks should provide taxi and bus vouchers to legal places for them to pitch their tents near the homes of city leaders who are perpetuating this problem. They can make daily food drop offs to these locations so that the homeless never have to leave. 

 

Here on the west coast tent cities have exploded. They are not just people who sleep in a tent. It’s literally cubic yards of garbage and filth built 3 feet from the property of people who are paying $500,000 mortgages. 

Id be interested to see what numbers on homelessness are these days. Is there actually an increase in homelessness or are they just concentrating themselves in locations where the weather is good and people hassle them the least?  For years we were told that the homeless are victims of the economy but in many west coast cities fast food jobs start at $15.00+ and go unfilled. 

I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that making life easier for the homeless, even if it means just allowing them to pitch tents and shit where ever they want to without being hassled actually breeds homelessness.  That “compassionate” laws are actually detrimental to the problem. I dont know what the answer is but I don’t think we’re on the right track to help these people get off the street and we’re fucking over regular people to make the lives of the homeless 5% better. 

Edited by Lhorn

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18 minutes ago, Lhorn said:

I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that making life easier for the homeless, even if it means just allowing them to pitch tents and shit where ever they want to without being hassled actually breeds homelessness.  That “compassionate” laws are actually detrimental to the problem.

I would bet that the vast majority of homeless people are not there by choice.

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Austin Homeless Free for All Ordnance

Personally I think this would be much more fun^

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Armin Tamzarian said:

I would bet that the vast majority of homeless people are not there by choice.

I think saying they don’t want to be on the street is simplistic. Do you want to have a middle class job and 1900 square foot home or do you want to sleep in a holy tent and eat out of a dumpster?  My belief about the origins of homelessness is that “doing all the right things but just a victim of the system” is a single digit minority.  Drugs and mental illness are the vast majority of the problem. 

I think mental health care and drug rehab would be more likely to get people off the street than “you can now camp in public green spaces and on the sidewalks.”  Is our goal to get people off the street or is it to make life on the street better?

Like I said, I’d be interested to see if there are more homeless or if they are just migrating to areas where they are hassled the least. I know I see more in my community. It would make me more likely to live in the areas that are less homeless friendly. SF, Portland and Seattle can have them if they want. 

Edited by Lhorn

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Lhorn said:

Drugs and mental illness are the vast majority of the problem. 

J . t . Never did drug's he just walk around town getting blacker

Edited by CHAD BRISCOE

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I agree that most homeless are mentally ill or addicted. But mental illness isn't a choice. And after a point, drug addiction isn't either. I find it difficult to believe, however, that we're making homelessness such a cushy lifestyle that people choose to do it. I think that's a bad take.

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41 minutes ago, Lhorn said:

I think mental health care and drug rehab would be more likely to get people off the street than “you can now camp in public green spaces and on the sidewalks.”  Is our goal to get people off the street or is it to make life on the street better?

Here's the part where the pinche libruls tell us that these are resources that most civilized Western Nations provide to their citizens, then loudly wondering why we haven't followed suit.

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10 minutes ago, Armin Tamzarian said:

I agree that most homeless are mentally ill or addicted. But mental illness isn't a choice. And after a point, drug addiction isn't either. I find it difficult to believe, however, that we're making homelessness such a cushy lifestyle that people choose to do it. I think that's a bad take.

It's not that we make it cushy.  It's that we make it easier to indulge in -- we're enabling people with illness and addiction, which does them no favors.  They're not looking for comfort, they're looking for an easy way to live a broken life.  And we've unwittingly given it to them.

And, mixing our chronically homeless population (again, mostly mentally ill and/or addicts) with the "down on their luck" homeless is not helping anyone, either.

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About 6 years ago, I was at a light at McNeil and mopac. There was a panhandler there holding a sign at all of us. Then a Honda Accord went into the uturn lane, stopped, one guy gets out. Panhandler gives his sign to the new guy and gets into the Honda and it drives off. New guy starts his shift. 

So...the city needs to get serious about helping people hat have addiction or mental health problems that end up in that lifestyle because of them.

same for those that happen to be down on their luck in a bad way, but will soon find their way out. Help them make that transition.

Once that happens, stop giving money to what’s left. 

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5 minutes ago, Brisketexan said:

They're not looking for comfort, they're looking for an easy way to live a broken life. 

That's an awfully broad generalization, counselor.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Pato del Muerto said:

About 6 years ago, I was at a light at McNeil and mopac. There was a panhandler there holding a sign at all of us. Then a Honda Accord went into the uturn lane, stopped, one guy gets out. Panhandler gives his sign to the new guy and gets into the Honda and it drives off. New guy starts his shift. 

So...the city needs to get serious about helping people hat have addiction or mental health problems that end up in that lifestyle because of them.

same for those that happen to be down on their luck in a bad way, but will soon find their way out. Help them make that transition.

Once that happens, stop giving money to what’s left. 

Beware conflating "panhandler" with "homeless." 

Edited by Armin Tamzarian

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Just now, Armin Tamzarian said:

Beware conflating "panhandler" with "homeless." 

True. Shouldn’t be an issue to distinguish if there’s truly help available for the homeless though. 

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2 minutes ago, Armin Tamzarian said:

That's an awfully broad generalization, counselor.

Referring to the mentally ill and addicts...yes, of course it's a generalization.  We're speaking of a population in this thread, not each individual.  But it's not overly broad.  That's generally how addicts and the mentally ill behave in these situations.

The addict isn't trying to pull one over on you, rip you off, etc.  He may DO all those things, but that's not what he's trying to do.  He's just trying to feed the addiction, the easiest/quickest way that he can.  We shouldn't enable that.

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1 minute ago, Brisketexan said:

We shouldn't enable that.

Of course, but it is a stretch to say that rolling back of a couple of city ordinances is going to enable Austin's vagrants to continue living the high life. 

 

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I was driving to my parents’ place last Christmas Eve and came to the light at Mopac and 360. Homeless guy there holding up a sign, at like 5:00 pm on Christmas Eve. I rolled down my window and gave him some food and said something like “hey keep warm tonight”. He said “nah it’s ok, I’m parked around the corner and I’ll be driving home in a bit”.

Ah, ok. Give me my fucking food back then asshole.

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Posted (edited)

Talked with a police undercover unit once, and they were disguised as homeless people to surveil  a target.  They said they would all "turn in" over $100 bucks a day from panhandling and many who they encountered said they make more there than any job.  We encourage it even when just trying to help.

Austin also has a large group of "day homeless" younger kids still living at home but panhandling downtown during the day.  They love the free food from the church and the beer and drug money (mostly on the drag - not really a problem, but an annoyance). 

We need to not allow homelessness on the streets and force people to places like the ones listed above in San Antonio.  Identify the ones who are down on their luck and need help, vs the addicts and drug users, and finally the mentally ill.  Those who need the help can be provided with shelter, storage and job/skills training.  Have the city provide a list of duties and jobs that can be filled by these people until they can find something permanent.  Force them to help themselves.  Most WANT this help and don't need to be forced, but get lost in fight for scarce resources with he other two categories. 

We have countless examples that "accommodation" and money dumps do not work, and haven't made a dent in SF or Seattle or LA's homeless issues (in some cases it simply increased the problem).  Making life more comfortable might deter some of those capable of rising up from doing so. 

Once identified, force the mentally ill (i know i know) into facilities for full time care.  Deal with the issue, don't put it downtown. 

The drug users get a choice, forced in-patient rehab or jail.  Then they graduate to the down on their luck group and hopefully get better.  Don't make "not accepting help" even an option.  Basically it's against the law to be homeless (and maybe to indulge panhandlers - controversial, but donate this money to the homeless university instead). 

Sell ARCH for market value after the clean up and use it to buy cheap land outside of downtown to create a system like San Antonio.  At least all of the money required wouldn't be simply pissed away "accommodating" the status quo instead of taking the problem on head on

 

I would also make this a "state issue" and not a city one.  Have a consistent plan and policy so certain cities don't get overwhelmed with cost or space/population. 

Edited by ChickenSandwich

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21 minutes ago, Armin Tamzarian said:

Of course, but it is a stretch to say that rolling back of a couple of city ordinances is going to enable Austin's vagrants to continue living the high life. 

 

Well, since I didn't say they would be living the high life, I know you're not talking to me.

They are (speaking generally) leading the life of least resistance to following the path of their particular demons.  Being enabled doesn't mean "living the high life."  It can be a wretched fucking life....where they are able to get a frequent fix, which is all that matters to them.

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Sick of the fuckers insisting on making my windows filthier. I yelled at this fuck stain after politeley asking him three times not to do it, "Hey these windows are treated, you will fuck them up!" 

Dude acted deaf, maybe he was, and just went right on ahead. I dont carry any cash or change anyway. I need a sign on my door that reads, "This vehicle contains one angry armed asshole, and NO cash!"

 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Brisketexan said:

Well, since I didn't say they would be living the high life, I know you're not talking to me.

True, you said it was the "easy" way. 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Armin Tamzarian said:

True, you said it was the "easy" way. 

Can I see your copy of "Swank", Armin?

Edited by Sandman

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2 hours ago, Armin Tamzarian said:

Beware conflating "panhandler" with "homeless." 

That's why you just call them all bums. 

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Posted (edited)

And whats up with the chuckle fucks out begging to support some charity? Always in the same color clothing and think that because they have some handouts they printed out at kinkos it makes them legit. This bitch actually looked in my window to see if I had change, but what she got was a face full of barking Luna. Fatass was so scared she nearly ran into moving traffic. 

Edited by MissingInAction

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Its disgusting and embarrassing to have these druggies laying around all over the streets near 6th. 

On the bright side, some have found performance art and advertisement last time I was out and about..

20190607-170340.gif

20190607-170455.gif

19 hours ago, UDontKnow said:

That should take care about 75% of the problem. For the remaining 25%, need to bring back long-term/permanent residential mental health facilities.

Most of them do not want any type of normal life, I wouldn't say 75% would get help when it is offered.

They like drugs, the good kind, not the mind numbing cuckoo nest kind. I'd say giving them a good night sleep and fresh shower and clothes would help, but they just go strait back into their group and do drugs instead of being productive. 

 

 

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On 6/6/2019 at 7:21 PM, Red Five said:

I realize hindsight is 20/20, but perhaps building a gigantic homeless shelter in the middle of downtown Austin wasn't the greatest idea ever. 

They should have built a gigantic library for them instead!

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On 6/6/2019 at 9:04 PM, TKthunder2 said:

Do what San Antonio did.  Spend a couple million on a facility in Far East Austin that is equipped to receive the homeless and parter with local charities, church, community colleges and hospitals to provide these people a real chance to end their homelessness.  Do this in concert with passing very strict anti panhandling, trespassing, vagrancy, loitering laws and allowed trained officers to routinely patrol popular locations where homeless gather and transport them to this new facility.  Those with drug/alcohol problems or mental disorders will be put into a program (also located on site) while the others are monitored then moved into a halfway house type of situation and given food/clothing.  Once they’ve hit the minimum required stay they can be placed into an optional vocational training program and put on a path to gain employment with a city/community partner and moved into an additional halfway house outside of the intake facility.  Have a three strikes policy and then assign those that violate it real jail time as a deterrent for those who are picked up on their third time.  This would give those that want a path out of homelessness a real chance to turn their lives around and remove the homeless by choice from our streets. 

But the Austin City Council is too stupid to take effective measures like that.

Just give them free shit with nothing required in return. Don’t want to offend their “dignity”.

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Yes, obviously there are different categories of people who are homeless. I think the San Antonio method is good because it identifies the ones who want to change their lives and gets them the resources to do that. Some people come on hard times and are temporarily homeless or it could be a vicious cycle. There’s definitely a shame and drug use component. It also identifies the ones with severe drug problems and gets them in programs. 

There are definitely some with mental health problems who can’t function in normal society, and to be completely honest, never will. They need to be in a permanent mental health institution. Treatments don’t exist currently to help some of the people. They do not belong in society because they can be dangerous and they absolutely do not belong in prison as they are just a drain on resources and prisons are not equipped or trained to handle them. 

The Portland Method is by far the dumbest fucking idea. Letting the homeless live on any sidewalk and use the city like a trash can with no repercussion solves nothing. 

 

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1 hour ago, Neonmoon said:

They do not belong in society because they can be dangerous and they absolutely do not belong in prison as they are just a drain on resources and prisons are not equipped or trained to handle them. 

And unfortunately some see the prison system as the default national mental healthcare system.  

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41 minutes ago, atomheartbevo said:

And unfortunately some see the prison system as the default national mental healthcare system.  

To be fair, it pretty much is.

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On 6/7/2019 at 10:50 AM, Lhorn said:

Concerned citizens tired of the city encouraging and catering to homeless at the expense of regular folks should provide taxi and bus vouchers to legal places for them to pitch their tents near the homes of city leaders who are perpetuating this problem. They can make daily food drop offs to these locations so that the homeless never have to leave. 

 

Here on the west coast tent cities have exploded. They are not just people who sleep in a tent. It’s literally cubic yards of garbage and filth built 3 feet from the property of people who are paying $500,000 mortgages. 

Id be interested to see what numbers on homelessness are these days. Is there actually an increase in homelessness or are they just concentrating themselves in locations where the weather is good and people hassle them the least?  For years we were told that the homeless are victims of the economy but in many west coast cities fast food jobs start at $15.00+ and go unfilled. 

I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that making life easier for the homeless, even if it means just allowing them to pitch tents and shit where ever they want to without being hassled actually breeds homelessness.  That “compassionate” laws are actually detrimental to the problem. I dont know what the answer is but I don’t think we’re on the right track to help these people get off the street and we’re fucking over regular people to make the lives of the homeless 5% better. 

I heard a radio report that said they did a study in Los Angeles, and 35% of the homeless there are "from" somewhere else.  They find their way to L.A. for various reasons.

San Diego has a homeless issue, particularly downtown.  Also downtown is "Father Joe's Villages" when provides a ton  of services to the homeless.  Coincidence?  I think not. 

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All or nothing. No in between. Make it as expensive as possible to live here, then invite the riff raff in to make the city council feel like they care.

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2 hours ago, rage-a-holic said:

See where Austin is headed

I posted that in a cr thread and the response was predictable...  I got the fuck out of Seattle as soon as I could.  It’s a shame such a great city is going to shit literally.   

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On 6/6/2019 at 9:04 PM, TKthunder2 said:

Do what San Antonio did.  Spend a couple million on a facility in Far East Austin that is equipped to receive the homeless and parter with local charities, church, community colleges and hospitals to provide these people a real chance to end their homelessness.  Do this in concert with passing very strict anti panhandling, trespassing, vagrancy, loitering laws and allowed trained officers to routinely patrol popular locations where homeless gather and transport them to this new facility.  Those with drug/alcohol problems or mental disorders will be put into a program (also located on site) while the others are monitored then moved into a halfway house type of situation and given food/clothing.  Once they’ve hit the minimum required stay they can be placed into an optional vocational training program and put on a path to gain employment with a city/community partner and moved into an additional halfway house outside of the intake facility.  Have a three strikes policy and then assign those that violate it real jail time as a deterrent for those who are picked up on their third time.  This would give those that want a path out of homelessness a real chance to turn their lives around and remove the homeless by choice from our streets. 

If history is any indication, selective enforcement of these laws will quickly become a problem.

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