‘Woke’ Austin has homeless living in parks

Top family destinations in Austin, Texas have become magnets for the homeless – and the city’s woke policies are keeping cops from doing anything about this illegal scourge, critics say.

People living in vehicles crammed with luggage, chairs and other items are increasingly lining the streets near popular spots such as Zilker Metropolitan Park and Barton Springs Pool, thanks at least in part to the soaring housing prices in the region.

But while local laws don’t allow people to live in cars parked around public green spaces, there simply aren’t enough police to tackle the quality of life problem – because the policies City liberals pushed cops to flee the department, critics say.

Sick and tired cops continue to retire in droves, adding to the existing 264 vacancies, according to the Austin Police Association.

The police department is so understaffed that it disbanded its park patrol months ago — and even 911 calls are now being redirected to the city’s non-emergency 311 number because there aren’t enough ‘agents to respond.

It is estimated that at least 1,000 children and their parents live without a car in the Texas capital.

Austin laws don't allow people to live or camp in public parks, but there aren't enough police to enforce the camping ban.
Austin laws don’t allow people to live or camp in public parks, but there aren’t enough police to enforce the ban.

Until recently, homeless camps were permitted in downtown Austin near tourist hotspots like Sixth Street.
Until recently, homeless camps were permitted in downtown Austin near tourist hotspots such as Sixth Street.
Mario Cantu/CSM/Shutterstock

“If you come home and find your house broken into, calls like this now go to 311,” police union president Thomas Villarreal told The Post on Tuesday. “You don’t get a lot of property crime response from the police if it’s not a violent crime that’s going on right now.”

This leaves park goers to fend for themselves.

“It would be nice to see a policeman here,” a woman whose car was broken into told KXAN.

Mark Hilbelink, executive director of the Sunrise Homeless Navigation Center, told the outlet: “We’re about to assess around 1,000 children living in cars this year, and there are a lot of families living in the car. outside.”

That number rose from 400 last year, he said.

When asked if the situation was a crisis, “I would absolutely say so,” he told the local station.
Over the past few years, Austin’s mortgages and rents have skyrocketed as the Texas capital has become a popular destination for New Yorkers, Californians and other non-Texans driving up real estate prices. .

“I would say for a lot of people there’s a progression of having your own house and then maybe living with your family or someone you know,” Hilbelink said of the downhill slide. “Then often living in a car, then eventually living completely homeless.”


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