Travis County constable working to help Austin’s homeless community

Tyler Wing moved to Austin to be there for his son, but his world turned upside down in August 2015.

"I was living with his mother for a little bit. You can only stay so long. She said you have to go," said Wing.

His life began a downward spiral, and he found himself homeless, and now living in an encampment. Wing said this many factors were the recipe that got him here.

"Drugs, particularly methamphetamines," he said.

He was one of the many that Sgt. Drew McAngus paid a visit to on Friday, during his regular trips to various campsites around Austin.

"I love that man. I've dealt with a lot of constables over my time in the media. He is the best. We wait for his Wednesday delivery. He brings us food, water. Some people really rely on his can of Chef Boyardee that he would bring," said Wing.

McAngus said this work comes from a place of compassion.

"There are some really good people experiencing homelessness out here on the streets. What we try to do is connect them to services," he said.

The city of Austin has been moving forward with plans since Dianna Grey took the homeless strategy officer position. Programs like the HEAL Initiative have relocated many into bridge shelters. McAngus visited two camps Friday, and said they plan to set up a resource center for a day, right across from one of the campsites.

"There is a lot of talk about how big the population of people experiencing homelessness is and we don't have a full grasp on what it really looks like. As an elected official it's my responsibility to go out," said Mackenzie Kelly, Austin City Council District Six.

Solving the problem will take a lot of thought, time and money, said Kelly. But as we wait for the policies to take effect, Wing said he is getting ready to make a change, immediately.

"I’ve got a plan. I’m getting clean and getting out, and going back to the real world," he said.

Also, he's doing it for one reason...

"My son. Earlier he didn’t know what was going on so I’d be able to not tell him things. Now he is starting to ask questions like why can’t I ever come to your house?" said Wing.

Thursday, the city council approved the renovation of the former Candlewood Suites building in northwest Austin. When it is finished, 78 people will be housed in those rooms, and the facility would be run by Family Eldercare.