AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - City of Austin crews began cleaning up a homeless camp that had been set up illegally near a playground in a South Austin park Tuesday morning. By the afternoon, some of that camp was back at Gillis Park.
Austin Parks and Recreation Department crews picked up trash and removed items from the area, and while doing so, two men were seen approaching one of the city's trucks and removing the items they picked up.
Vernon Rust, who frequents the park, said he's not surprised the camps are back and that he just wishes people would be more understanding of the situation the homeless are in.
"They're going to camp, they have nowhere to go," Rust said. "They aren't panhandling or hassling anybody, they are just out there trying to scrape by."
Those who live nearby say it isn't the people at the park, but the activities that happen there that are some of their concerns.
Sabino "Pio" Renteria is the Austin city council member for District 3 where Gillis Park is located. He issued this statement:
Renteria's office said they will be taking part in a community forum regarding homelessness on September 3 at St. Edward's University, and that Mayor Steve Adler and several other council members will also be in attendance.