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The Ordinances in QuestionMarch 15, 2021

Prop B in a Nutshell

  • Written By

    Darius Mills

  • 108 Comments
  • 5 mins read

Prop B would re-instate, and expand, three ordinances that were effectively repealed in 2019. These ordinances cover activities that are unavoidable for the homeless and institute Class C misdemeanors with 500-dollar fines that make escaping homelessness even harder. Prop B would not fund or generate any new housing or services for unhoused people.

  • Sit/lie. This ordinance forbids sitting or lying down in certain areas of downtown Austin. Homeless people were often cited simply for resting outside, even if they were not blocking pedestrian traffic or otherwise causing any harm.
  • Asking for money. In theory, this only applied to "aggressive solicitation." But aggressive behaviors are already illegal in the state of Texas! In practice, homeless people were cited for peaceful panhandling, and Prop B would intentionally target any poor person asking for help.
  • Sitting with your possessions. Erroneously referred to as a "camping ban," people often received citations under this ordinance for storing personal belongings in public areas, sleeping in a vehicle, or otherwise merely appearing to be living in a public area, no tent required.

About this campaignMarch 7, 2021

Housing is a Human Right

  • Written By

    Darius Mills

  • 108 Comments
  • 5 mins read

Austinites stand up for each other, especially in the toughest of times. People are losing their jobs, they cannot pay rent, and small businesses are closing every day. And yet even as it feels like we live in an unrecognizable world, we’ve also shown the best of ourselves. People are donating food and money to food banks, wearing masks in public to prevent others from contracting COVID-19, opening up motel rooms to house those who do not have a home, and contributing to disaster relief funds.

And yet amidst all of this, a small group of people want to push our most vulnerable further into the shadows. They want to give police the green light to put those experiencing homelessness in jail, away from the services they need and resuming the cycle of poverty and incarceration.

We know the real solution to homelessness is homes, not handcuffs. We believe in an Austin that works for everyone.

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33 Comments

Hosne AraOct 05, 2020 10:53 am

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium dolo rem que laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore verita tis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo.

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Hosne AraOct 05, 2020 10:53 am

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium dolo rem que laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore verita tis et quasi architec

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Hosne AraOct 05, 2020 10:53 am

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium dolo rem que laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore verita tis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo.

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Get the factsMarch 7, 2021

Facts About Homelessness in Austin

  • Written By

    Darius Mills

  • 108 Comments
  • 5 mins read
  • There are around 2,200 people experiencing homelessness every day in Austin.
  • Half of them are in shelters, but there are not enough shelters for everyone.
  • People find themselves without housing for many reasons. In Austin, the cost of living has skyrocketed. According to Austin ECHO, you would have to work 109 hours a week at minimum wage to afford a one bedroom house here.
  • Roughly a quarter of all people experiencing homelessness in Texas are employed, but unable to afford shelter.
  • Laws that make it a crime for the homeless to engage in life-sustaining activities are cruel. Many of these laws -- laws that a small coalition wants to reinstate -- punish people for sitting and sleeping outside or asking for help. They punish people, in other words, for trying to survive.
  • These laws also make the underlying problems that cause homelessness worse. People rack up fines and fees that they cannot pay. They are saddled with criminal records, making it more difficult to get housing and employment. When individuals are jailed, they often lose access to public benefits and shelter space. For those with medical or treatment needs, continuity of care is disrupted. Any possessions these individuals have managed to obtain are lost forever. All of these effects perpetuate the cycle of homelessness.
  • Criminalizing homelessness costs cities and states millions of dollars on police, jails and courts. That money could be better invested in interventions to prevent homelessness or assist those experiencing it to find shelter, an income, and necessary community services. If we want to end homelessness, that’s where we must put our money.

More informationMarch 7, 2021

External Sources

  • Written By

    Darius Mills

  • 108 Comments
  • 5 mins read

The fight to protect our most vulnerable:

Why criminalizing homelessness is cruel and ineffective:

How places have helped the homeless: