AUSTIN, Texas - The City of Austin and partners helped 28 people move from the West Bouldin Creek area to temporary bridge shelters. This is part of the second phase of the Housing-Focused Encampment Assistance Link (HEAL) initiative.
Those 28 people moved to the city-owned Northbridge and Southbridge shelters.
In the first phase of HEAL, which took place from June to August 2021, about 150 people were moved from high-risk encampments to the Southbridge and Northbridge shelters. So far in the second phase of HEAL, 63 people have been moved into temporary bridge shelters.
HEAL carries out closures of homeless encampments that pose the highest public health and safety risks. Occupants are offered transfer to shelter, and connection to concrete housing resources.
Austin City Council approved the HEAL initiative in February 2021. The Homeless Strategy Division has developed a mobile encampment assessment tool that measures over 40 factors to prioritize encampments for HEAL intervention.
"This initiative allows us to work with community partners, offering resources to help find more people permanent housing," said City of Austin Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey. "While there is still more work to be done, we are dedicated to making a difference in for the thousands of people living unhoused in our community."