‘I think the city is dropping the ball.’ New concerns arise after state-mandated homeless camp cleanups

‘I think the city is dropping the ball.’ New concerns arise after state-mandated homeless camp cleanups.
KXAN
Yoojin Cho
November 5, 2019
https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/i-think-the-city-is-dropping-the-ball-new-concerns-arise-after-state-mandated-homeless-camp-cleanups/

(KXAN) — The governor-mandated homeless camp cleanups are expected to continue Wednesday.

The Other Ones Foundation, a nonprofit that has been going out to sites with the Texas Department of Transportation to help those being forced out, said they’re planning on going to the U.S. Highway 183 corridor next.

On Tuesday, TxDOT said it cleaned seven locations along Interstate 35 in downtown Austin.

“I think it’s actually the right thing for TxDOT to do. Absolutely,” said Stuart Dupuy, who owns a business nearby. “TxDOT needs to take care of the roadways, and it is not OK for people to be living and camping under Texas roadways.”

Dupuy said the difference between before and after the cleanup on West Gate is dramatic.

He said, “It looks incredible underneath the bridge. It was terrible. I couldn’t walk over to lunch without stepping over needles, bottles of human waste, dead animals, dead rats,” but he added, there’s now a new problem.

Dupuy said the state was right in doing its job of cleaning the underpasses. He now wants the city to step up with enforcement and services.

TxDOT explained that they cleaned one location Monday on SH 71 and cleaned seven locations Tuesday along I-35. the other locations TxDOT plans to clean are along SH 71 and US 182.

“The current plan once cleanups this week are complete is to return on a weekly basis unless otherwise directed by the governor,” said TxDOT spokesperson Diann Hodges in an email.

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