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Austin’s homeless residents left with nowhere to go amid camping crackdown

Months after Austin voters reinstated the city’s public camping ban, authorities are clearing many of the largest encampments. Their former residents are going “anywhere it’s safe and out of sight, out of mind,” one man said.

Billy Smith, 61, lived at the homeless encampment under I-35 near APD headquarters for a year until it was cleared on September 29, 2021.
City workers clear out a former homeless encampment off Riverside Drive on Sept. 28, 2021 in Austin. Many of the people who had been living in the camp said they weren't given enough notice and were not offered any place to stay. Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune
City workers clear out a former homeless encampment on Riverside Drive on Sept. 28, 2021 in Austin. Many of the people who had been living in the camp said they weren't given enough notice and were not offered any place to stay. Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune

More enforcement, not enough housing

A propane burner sits near bike parts near a former homeless encampment on Riverside Drive on Sept. 28, 2021 in Austin. Many of the people who had been living in the camp said they weren't given enough notice and were not offered any place to stay.
Juan Gomez, 49, has lived in an off-grid encampment in Austin for four years.
Adrian Elliot and Shirley Crawford sit near a former homeless encampment oN Riverside Drive on Sept. 28, 2021 in Austin. Many of the people who had been living in the camp said they weren't given enough notice and were not offered any place to stay.

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