Now the city has to decide where those people will go. Austin City Council member Kathie Tovo is bringing forward a resolution Thursday to address that process.
"This will direct the city manager to take those first steps toward identifying those safe outdoor spaces where individuals can camp," said Tovo.
Tovo started this discussion back in 2019, shortly before the council lifted the camping ban. "It was not a vote I supported. I believed we should not move forward with lifting the ban until we had a plan for how we could manage public camping," she said.
With Prop B passing, the city manager will have to do this anyway. Tovo's resolution outlines an approach with a proposal to create campsites with security, lighting, restrooms, and storage.
The idea is being welcomed to Prop B supporters like Rupal Chaudhari, who is CFO of Homewood Suites location in Austin-Cedar Park. She is with a coalition fighting to stop the city’s acquisition of nearby Candlewood Suites.
"I think it's a great idea. People who are not ready to go into housing yet, give them a designated space where you can provide social services, porta-potties, showers," said Chaudhari.
Tovo said everyone can agree that permanent supportive housing is the true solution to homelessness, but it will take a community effort to achieve that goal for all living on the streets.
"Clearly we don't have enough shelter beds, we don't have enough permanent supportive housing, so we need this alternative. It's not ideal but it will allow us to create safer camping spaces," said Tovo.