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Austin Homeless Free for All Ordinance

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So I was talking to an architect buddy this morning.  Apparently he went to some seminar on affordable housing or some such recently and heard some stats from whatever body was doing the presentation.  2000ish chronically homeless in Austin, another 7-9000 temp homeless out on the streets on any given night was the number thrown around.  For each one COA spends $220,000/year on police, ems, outreach, etc.  If you put them in some sort of housing that drops to $90,000.  Hence the current push to put them in beds by city council.

What he (and I) don't get is how you just put it one neighborhood.  There is no way this will ever be equitable, but to just dump this one facility in South Austin is not only unfair, but a drop in the bucket to the scope of the problem.  This facility is slated for 100 beds.  ARCH is losing 60.  Kitchen's response to this issue in our neighborhood has always been reactionary and minimalistic.  This just continues the trend.

Meanwhile my neighborhood is getting less safe.  It was actually promising how many new young families have moved in in the last 4 years.  I expect them to migrate out if this moves in.  We probably will too.

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Hey, neighbor, we’re at Banister and Ben White as well, and have almost had enough of the bums with just the Sunrise church and all their bullshit.

We too shall bounce if this thing goes down like they’re saying, which I’m sure it will.

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10 minutes ago, David Dennison said:

Where should it be?

Out in the country, somewhere on Hwy 6 that nobody would know the difference.

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9 minutes ago, El Diablo said:

Out in the country, somewhere on Hwy 6 that nobody would know the difference.

like at these coordinates? 

Latitude 30.615011 and longitude:  -96.342476

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53 minutes ago, El Diablo said:

Out in the country, somewhere on Hwy 6 that nobody would know the difference.

Keep moving it 10 feet every day until it’s in Arkansas. 

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1 hour ago, dirtonia said:

Hey, neighbor, we’re at Banister and Ben White as well, and have almost had enough of the bums with just the Sunrise church and all their bullshit.

We too shall bounce if this thing goes down like they’re saying, which I’m sure it will.

I appreciate church ministry for the homeless, but that place is essentially an overrun encampment with all the ben white homeless living under those bridges. I even saw an elaborate teepee under ben white for awhile there. It's crazy. 

And I'm not sure the church is doing more good than harm...

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I lived in an apartment off South Lamar near Treadwell for a year and there is a thriving homeless population in the greenbelt surrounding the railroad tracks east of the Lamar (the one that eventually runs through downtown). One thing I learned is that they love screaming at one another at all hours of the day and night. Of course, this is in addition to drinking and vandalizing property throughout the area. Not sure what the solution is but I don’t think it involves legalizing / encouraging their behavior.

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Check this out. The wife has heart of gold and frequently offers a hand to those with lost dogs and etc. Long story to somewhat shorter story- We end up riding over to the east side Animal shelter to help this homeless guy get his “lost” dog back before giving him a ride back to their spot behind the HEB at Slaughter and I-35.

The dude had a $4000+ Specialized bike. Two days later she notices that the guy’s dog is at the shelter again. Pretty obvious how he got the bike, but I wondered if this guy and his crew were actually using this dog to make contact with generous people.


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16 hours ago, El Diablo said:

Out in the country, somewhere on Hwy 6 that nobody would know the difference.

That makes sense. After all, we don't want to see or hear or even think about them.

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That makes sense. After all, we don't want to see or hear or even think about them.


Yes, you get it now!

How about .5 miles from your house, deal?

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It's funny because the Community First Village that everyone touts as such a success and blueprint to follow is actually out in the country.

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1 hour ago, dirtonia said:

Yes, you get it now!

How about .5 miles from your house, deal?

 

Screen name definitely checks out.

I was also wondering about the Southfield Bldg (Ben White and 35).  Ever since the state left it about 15 years ago they can't fill it for shit. Plus, it's right near Wal-Mart where a bunch of 'em are anyway, and the effluent they put out would fertilize the cemetery right next to it pretty effectively.  Plus it's just a short wheelbarrow ride over there for any that happen to perish.

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2 hours ago, drt said:

It's funny because the Community First Village that everyone touts as such a success and blueprint to follow is actually out in the country.

It's across from the Expo Center and is serviced by Cap Metro, so not exactly in the sticks. And the original site was within the city limits, but the neighborhood opposed it. Thus, they moved to where there were no neighbors. 

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On 6/12/2019 at 5:42 AM, Incredulity said:

I just drove through Portland a few weeks ago.  There are way more than 4 camps just on the shoulders of the I-5 Freeway in North Portland.  

Awe, I should call those the burbs of the camps.

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Just to add further pessimism.

What will happen when and if enough housing is ever built to accommodate all the homeless is a good percentage will choose NOT to live there because the housing will have rules they don’t want to follow.  Mostly no drug rules.

Unless we want to build modern taxpayer funded opium dens.

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Who is the real oppostion to this insanity?   Really they need to get creative and throw it back at some of these do gooders faces.  Call their push "the legalization of poop and needles on the streets ordianance" or something like that.   Make the labels stick until it makes them stink like the excrement they want on the streets.

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18 minutes ago, Incredulity said:

Just to add further pessimism.

What will happen when and if enough housing is ever built to accommodate all the homeless is a good percentage will choose NOT to live there because the housing will have rules they don’t want to follow.  Mostly no drug rules.

Unless we want to build modern taxpayer funded opium dens.

It all ties back into the mental health issue and the inability of the system to keep people in restrictive enviroment even if they have been determined to be threat to the public safety or have a criminal record of some sort.  But yes many of these homeless resist the exiting services as they are because they can't have their drugs or booze.    The booze is probably a larger problem than the drugs in most areas.  

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40 minutes ago, Incredulity said:

Unless we want to build modern taxpayer funded opium dens.

They already exist in Seattle

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I expect that they will also exist in Austin in the next few years.

The homeless issue in Austin is going to get much worse before it gets better.  There is legitimate concern that the homeless population in Austin will double or even triple in the next 18-30 months.

 

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On 6/12/2019 at 3:40 PM, drt said:

For each one COA spends $220,000/year on police, ems, outreach, etc.  If you put them in some sort of housing that drops to $90,000.  Hence the current push to put them in beds by city council.

or hire more police and drive their leeching asses out of the city.  that's better money spent.  

 

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28 minutes ago, Wally Pryor said:

I like that one one of the comments points out that so many of these articles refuse to mention the numbers of homeless, and instead talk about percentage increases and the like.  

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So it's being built right next to an apartment complex. Nice strategy there. It'll be vacant in a couple years, and the city can buy it for a fraction of what it's worth right now.

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Also a nice little note: CoA is planning on buying it for 8-9 million, currently it is assessed at ~2 mil by TCAD. Either the city is way overpaying or commercial property is criminally undervalued, but seems like residents get screwed either way. 

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A multiple on TCAD assessment for that part of town should maybe be 1.5-2x.  Not 4x.  

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Posted (edited)
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. 

Yeah, that and laws that cater to being homeless and actually encourage it. LMAO at Delia Garza, Casar, and anyone else on the council who can't see that laws like these are precisely the reason that this such a problem.

Edited by wood

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From the link Wally posted. The other side of the coin. I legit busted out laughing at the absurdity of this.

Although the properties have been within the full jurisdiction of Austin since 1891, roughly 400 properties along Lake Austin, many of which are worth millions of dollars, have not paid any city property taxes for more than three decades.

 

City Council members are pushing to repeal the tax break passed by former Mayor Frank Cooksey’s City Council in 1986, which they are now calling a “Mistake on the Lake.” Council members said the property owners have essentially been receiving fire, EMS, police, library and parks services for free on the dime of taxpayers throughout the city. An ordinance change brought by City Council Members Jimmy Flannigan, Greg Casar, Kathie Tovo and Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza aims to repeal the law June 20.

 

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4 hours ago, SquishMitten said:

So it's being built right next to an apartment complex. Nice strategy there. It'll be vacant in a couple years, and the city can buy it for a fraction of what it's worth right now.

it's almost within a stones throw to an elementary school.  city officials are beyond fucking incompetent and idiots.

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no chance that triangular wooded area separating the building from the elementary school becomes an anarchist homeless camp.   

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, gsoda3 said:

no chance that triangular wooded area separating the building from the elementary school becomes an anarchist homeless camp.   

per the comments, it already is.

 

that whole area is a mess.  there's an exxon across the street which is a homeless camp unto itself.  drunk and high fuckers are strewn across the sidewalk and grass all hours of the day.  i've seen homeless fight for the spot inside the fenced dumpster, i guess because it's fenced.

Edited by crash_davis

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12 minutes ago, crash_davis said:

it's almost within a stones throw to an elementary school.  city officials are beyond fucking incompetent and idiots.

Galindo, Dawson, St. Elmo, and Joslin are all pretty close elementary schools.  Not to mention the Ann Richards School, which already has issues with the crowd around Ben White.

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Wonder what’ll happen to that little park place office complex behind it.  It’s solid class B office space that’s about to go to shit.  Particularly since it’s literally downhill from the ISA building.  

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1 hour ago, Texas_Rocks said:

From the link Wally posted. The other side of the coin. I legit busted out laughing at the absurdity of this.

 

 

That issue is much more complicated than it seems at first blush.  For starters, those properties do not receive city utilities.  Bringing them into the city will require water, sewage, etc. to be brought to the homes.  The cost will be insane.  There's a reason it's set up the way that it is, but it's an easy "eat the rich" issue for city council.  I can't remember off the top of my head all of the other hoops and bs involved in that issue, but it's probably not going to work out just like it hasn't the last fifty times a councilmember has brought it up.

 

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The “proposed” shelter is smack in the middle of our south Aistin core, on the boundaries of several neighborhoods and near two elementary schools. I believe it would exasperate an already difficult population of camping, trash, trespassing and theft by concentrations of people with addiction and mental illness that will not be inside the shelter. Encouraging the downtown homeless population to the south will add more insecurity to our intersections and public walking spaces which has become increasingly threatening in the past five years. As a native Austinite, single female home owner and small business owner paying taxes in 78745, I do not feel safe walking to local businesses. The unsheltered are extending farther into the Southwood neighborhood, along roads, creeks and the railroad track. Please consider a shelter in nearby more industrial areas that also meet the criteria of transportation and medical access so we can maintain the environment and safety of residential central South Austin. Please consider other options.
 

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1 minute ago, Samson's Wig said:

That issue is much more complicated than it seems at first blush.  For starters, those properties do not receive city utilities.  Bringing them into the city will require water, sewage, etc. to be brought to the homes.  The cost will be insane.  There's a reason it's set up the way that it is, but it's an easy "eat the rich" issue for city council.  I can't remember off the top of my head all of the other hoops and bs involved in that issue, but it's probably not going to work out just like it hasn't the last fifty times a councilmember has brought it up.

 

There is a thread for this. While they don’t get some services, they do get others like police and they also vote in city elections. 

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Banister is such a pedestrian friendly road too.  The egress for their target population will have a wonderful time walking from points west and north.  

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7 minutes ago, gsoda3 said:

no chance that triangular wooded area separating the building from the elementary school becomes an anarchist homeless camp.   

 

3 minutes ago, crash_davis said:

per the comments, it already is.

 

3 minutes ago, drt said:

Galindo, Dawson, St. Elmo, and Joslin are all pretty close elementary schools.  Not to mention the Ann Richards School, which already has issues with the crowd around Ben White.

yeah, basically ben white has become a homeless encampment. all the underpasses from congress to lamar are effectively inhabited by homeless people. the bridge at manchaca has this one dude who has got his hands on a white recliner, and just rocks away the day under the bridge. the trash has gotten worse than third-world level. and i thought the new park and ride (or transit center or whatever cap metro named it) would mitigate some homelessness under ben white, it has only intensified the presence at manchaca and other underpasses.

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1 minute ago, ChickenSandwich said:

There is a thread for this. While they don’t get some services, they do get others like police and they also vote in city elections. 

I'll check it out.  I'm all for bringing them into the fold, just don't see it working.

 

Back to the homeless shelter near the elementary schools, with AISD essentially bankrupt school closings are coming anyway.  Perhaps some of these are targets for closure?

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But for the fact that those schools are at least experiencing influx of young families as it’s one of the last pseudo-affordable/pseudo-gentrified areas in “central austin”.  

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Posted (edited)

You're giving CoA a lot of credit for foresight and working hand in hand with other gov't agencies, namely AISD.  Glad to see you're an optimist.

On a serious note, the only of the 4 that might be on the chopping block is St. Elmo per the NA chat; but that got pretty significant pushback from the over-involved in our neck of the woods for the reason Lobo mentioned.

Edited by drt

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