Mayor Steve Adler: Austin could end homelessness in 3 years

Mayor Steve Adler says Austin could be the first city of its size in America to end homelessness in three years. 

He laid it all out in his State of the City address Thursday night, but with more and more encampments popping up, many people are finding that statement hard to believe.

"The city is fighting back. Austin is poised to become the first major city in America to end homelessness," said Mayor Adler Thursday night during his State of the City address.

Jamie Hammonds has made it his personal mission to shed light on Austin’s homeless crisis. A crisis, he believes, won't be fixed in the three years Adler said.

"Thanks to the continuing HEAL initiative, we have already moved hundreds of people without homes out of tents and off the streets. Most critically, we have raised well more than 80% of the $515 million that is needed to fund the community driven finding home 3-year plan to get 3,000 more people into shelter and off our streets," said the Mayor.

As a former member of the homeless community himself, Hammonds says the city has not done enough to help the issue.


"They did get the encampments out of the public eye, but what they did with the homeless folks is push them into the trees," he said.

Hammonds says he spends most of his day going to hidden areas and documents the encampments he finds on Twitter. He says 8 times out of 10, he finds a homeless encampment in hidden, wooded areas. 

"It breaks my heart for two reasons. One, because there's a human life, and it's being affected by this, but Austin is known for its green belts and its beauty, and it's being ruined," he said.

His end goal is to get the city to see these sorts of conditions firsthand and spark a movement to help these people. Hammonds says he's even built connections with people living in camps like this and sees they also want help.