Austin (KXAN) — The City of Austin and its partners helped move 92 people from the Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metro Park camp to city-owned Northbridge and Southbridge shelters.
Roy G. Guerrero Park has become a favorite place for people experiencing homelessness, Anthony Jackson said on “We Can Now.” When people were forced to pack up and leave their camps near the city, they moved into the woods of the park.
“Their numbers have reached over 100 in those woods,” Jackson said.
Having been homeless, Lucia knows what it’s like to have to move regularly. She said she was recently kicked out of her campsite near Grove Boulevard, just off Guerrero Park.
“Lots of junk,” said Lucia while walking through a nearby campground. “Where did all this stuff come from and why is there trash here?”
Lucia said she keeps her space clean, but depending on the campsite, littering everywhere can attract unwanted attention.
The city is working to clear out the homeless camps that pose the highest public health and safety risks.
As the trash piles up, people may call to report problems.
Jackson said he regularly left garbage bags for the camps he served, but living on the streets could mean that basic services are gone.
“There’s a trash can in the house, and there’s a trash can and a garbage truck,” Jackson said.
Jackson’s organization has helped connect park residents with resources in the last year, but now nearly all campsites are gone or empty.
Austin Parks and Recreation has hired contractors to clear debris and debris from the park for the past two weeks and expects the work to continue for another two to three weeks.
Jackson said his organization has moved out of the park, but will continue to connect the new homeless camp with the resources they need.
So far this year, 218 students have entered the HEAL program. Since its inception, a total of 362 people have voluntarily moved from high-risk camps to the Southbridge and Northbridge shelters.