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Adler eyes next moves in ending homelessness

(Photo KLBJ Newsradio KLBJ 590 AM and 99.7FM/Eric Leikam)

 

An audit released last week shows Austin’s ordinances, like the camping ban, make it harder to break the cycle of homelessness.  Nearly 200 homeless people have lost their lives in Austin this year. 

As the names of each of the 184 homeless who died on the streets of Austin this year were read aloud, an origami crane was placed on the tree at the homeless memorial on the south shore of Ladybird Lake. Austin Mayor Steve Adler was in attendance. "It's important to remember those that have died on our streets and to think about how we failed them."

Adler is ginning up his downtown puzzle to end homelessness. He wants a steady income stream from tourists via additional occupancy taxes. Adler is building consensus with the latest social science that says this is the best way to help the homeless be homeless no more. "We have to focus on finding homes. We have to focus on finding a dedicated income stream, and we're moving forward in those directions."

Adler says the city is already taking steps to de-criminalize homelessness at the municipal court level to help those individuals break their cycle. Meantime he’s building consensus on finding an income stream for housing and doling out wraparound social services. "And my hope is that the Council will be able to come together and find that dedicated income stream, that tourists will pay."

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