City of Austin moves to phase 2 of implementing camping ban

For the past 30 days, the City of Austin has been in phase one of reinstating the citywide camping ban. During that month, Austin police have visited dozens of encampments to meet with the homeless and figure out their next steps. 

Now, the city moves into phase 2.

Phase 2 of reinstating the City's camping ban gives Austin Police the power to pass out written warnings and citations to those who are camping, sitting, or lying in any public area downtown. 

The City of Austin says it will be another month before APD is allowed to begin cleaning up camps.

"It's extremely frustrating," said Cleo Petricek with Save Austin Now.

Save Austin Now spearheaded the pro-Prop B campaign to ban homeless camping. Petricek says the city isn't doing enough to move the tents out of downtown and get people into safer housing.

"They don't have any answers. They have no viable plan. City council has yet to give a plan. They've had two years to come up with safe campgrounds, but they've refused," she said.



Bradley Lewis has lived under I-35 with his wife and dog, Scrappy, for around seven months. It's not much, but it is his home.

"We came in here to try to start over, build a life, and get away from the past," said Lewis.

FOX 7 Austin spoke to Lewis before when phase one started and decided to check in with him now with phase two in effect.

Lewis says he got rid of his tent to comply with phase 2. He says he doesn't want to cause any trouble. He just wants to know where to go. 

"Where are they going to put us at? Where are we allowed to camp? No one has told us anything," said Lewis

With no answers yet, he says he wonders if the homeless will get any help at all since they haven't before.

"A lot of these people qualify to get a job, get an apartment, get anything they want, but no one will give us a chance. No one will open the doors," said Lewis.

Lewis says it is not all bad.  He says his wife did get a promotion at work. However, it is still not enough to get them off the streets.

"A door has been opened. We just have to be just a little bit more patient," said Lewis

Lewis says he will continue to look at the bright side of things even if the clock is ticking when it comes to the camping ban. A ban that directly affects him and his family.

"They can't take my smile. They took everything else, but they can't take that. I won't let them take that. I'll fight every day," said Lewis.

Phase two will run for 30 days then the City of Austin will move into stage three and then stage for a day later. In those phases, APD will be allowed to start arresting those who have not complied with their written warning or citation.