AUSTIN, Texas - Sheriff Robert Chody is also chiming into the homeless debate that is taking place in Austin.
The Williamson County Sheriff shared a video on his Twitter after he ran into a homeless veteran who was living in a tent in his Williamson County neighborhood. "A pitched tent in the neighborhood? Occupied by a homeless veteran," Sheriff Chody wrote in the caption of his tweet. "I stopped to just take a pic to send to the mayor. Tom here saw me with my camera & he was frustrated as was I. As we talked, we both became educated & agreed that Mayor Adler needs to fix this now."
Sheriff Chody is alleging that the homeless ordinances in Austin are starting to affect the surrounding areas.
Back in June, Austin City Council decided police can no longer ticket or arrest someone for camping, sitting or lying down in a public space unless their behavior is dangerous. The homeless ordinance changes have mystified business owners and homeowners across the city.
Now, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is demanding the council address the growing homelessness crisis by November 1, 2019.
If meaningful reforms are not implemented by then, Governor Abbott will 'direct every applicable state agency to act to fulfill his responsibility to protect the health and safety of Texans in Austin’s jurisdiction.' "Some businesses are struggling to keep sidewalks clear. Some homeowners feel threatened," Abbott said in a video posted on his Twitter account.
Council Member Casar, who spearheaded legalizing camping, sitting and lying, says it would be great to have the state's help. "The Austin City Council dedicated 10 times more dollars and resources to addressing homelessness than the State does. The state sent us a paltry $660,000 for next year to address issues of homelessness," Casar said.