AUSTIN, Texas - The City of Austin says that it has developed a phased process to implement and enforce the Proposition B ordinances when they go into effect this week.
City Manager Spencer Cronk, interim Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon, and City Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey will host a virtual news conference at noon on Tuesday, May 11, to update the community on the implementation plan.
The city says that the phased plan has been developed through a coordinated effort among multiple departments—including the Austin Police Department, the Homeless Strategy Division, the Homeless Outreach Street Team, the Downtown Austin Community Court, Parks and Recreation Department, Austin Resource Recovery , and others.
The plan is focused on a safe and humane approach that helps those experiencing homelessness comply with the new ordinances, says the city. The objectives of the plan are to emphasize outreach and education, to prioritize health and safety, and to connect persons to appropriate resources and services.
The four phases, which begin on May 11, consist of:
- Phase one will entail 30 days of community engagement and education, during which APD will provide available resources and verbal warnings, except in the case of imminent threats to health or safety
- Phase Two will also be 30 days and APD will begin to issue written warnings and initial citations
- During Phase Three, APD may initiate arrests and/or encampment clearances in situations where compliance has not been achieved after a citation has been issued
- During Phase Four, citations and arrests will continue and APD will coordinate with City homelessness outreach teams, and, wherever possible, provide information about alternative options such as storing personal items, alternate campsites, available shelter, and other resources
All citations issued for violation of the new ordinances will be directed to the Downtown Austin Community Court (DACC), where personnel evaluate each case and develop disposition plans that include connecting individuals to needed social services and/or assigning them to community service, says the city.