South Lamar property owner frustrated by homeless camp on site

A property owner is frustrated by homeless individuals who have been camping out on his property. He's also unhappy with the lack of response from the city. 

Pedro Morales owns a building on South Lamar. A makeshift living space has popped up in a narrow space next to his building. There's bedding, shelving, kitchen items, even a laptop. 

He says it started with what appeared to be one person sleeping between the buildings. His contractor even found an ankle monitor.

Morales says, at first, someone sleeping there didn't really bother him, but then the campsite kept growing. He's also been vandalized. 

"Eventually it's just going to be overwhelming, and it's going to cost us business, and it's going to cost us money, and it's going to cost us time," he said.

He says he called the city several days ago, but didn't get a response. Friday, May 5, he called police, and they removed a person for trespassing, but he tried to come back. 

"There's absolutely zero accountability. I have to clean up somebody else's mess. The city created this mess. I didn't create that mess between my buildings," he said. "The way the city has been progressively moving toward a direction of tolerance has caused this. I want to be tolerant, but you can't affect my business. I can't allow that. I'll be tolerant to an extent. Once we start really losing business, it doesn't make sense. We won't live in Austin anymore. It's that simple."

A property owner is frustrated by homeless individuals who have been camping out on his property.

He says he wants to see a better approach to homelessness.

"The chemical dependency and the mental health needs to be treated," he said.

He's hired a cleaning company to clean up the stuff left behind.

"I definitely don't want to displace anyone, but I mean, you're displacing me and displacing my business, and you're displacing my tenant," he said.

We reached out to the city but haven't heard back. The city website says camping on private property falls under state trespassing law.