AUSTIN, Texas - Both the city and state will continue clearing out homeless camps in Austin today. The city is focusing its efforts around the ARCH in downtown Austin while the state is cleaning up areas under overpasses.
TxDOT began cleanup along 71 and Westage on November 4. Most of the homeless people that were there left as their stuff was being cleared away but many returned to the exact same spot just hours after TxDOT and state troopers had left.
Homeless organizations were at the cleanup as well to talk with those affected about their options and handing out CapMetro passes.
Over at the ARCH, police were able to create a list of those willing to work with service providers. Of the 156 homeless people in the area only 65 agreed to identify themselves.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley says that until those identified can be offered housing other than shelters no enforcement can be done.
Manley says the state helping to clean up areas under bridges can help officers reach camps that were previously left unchecked.
Officials say the city is looking in to motels or hotels where they could offer short term housing to some homeless.