AUSTIN, Texas - The City of Austin has shut down two homeless encampments and helped 43 people find a play to stay at the City's Northbridge and Southbridge shelters.
The city is now working on cleanup at the former encampments at Barwood Park and Tom Donovan Nature Trail at Williamson Creek Greenbelt.
People experiencing homelessness at both sites were offered access to shelter and connection to housing resources.
The effort is part of the Housing-Focused Encampment Assistance Link (HEAL) Initiative, which has assisted more than 661 people since 2021.
"Through HEAL, the City recognizes the challenges faced by those experiencing homelessness and commits to providing them with shelter, support and resources, while ensuring their dignity and well-being are upheld every step of the way," said Interim Homeless Strategy Officer David Gray. City Council approved the HEAL Initiative in February 2021.
The city prioritizes encampments for intervention using an assessment tool that measures over 40 factors.
The HEAL Initiative is one element of the City’s broader effort to address homelessness and return public spaces to their intended uses.
The Austin Public Health Homeless Strategy Division worked closely with the Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST), Austin Parks and Recreation Department Outreach, Integral Care, Austin Police Department, the Austin Area Urban League, and other community partners.
To learn more about homelessness in Austin, please visit www.austintexas.gov/homelessness