AUSTIN, Texas — The City of Austin and partners helped 15 individuals move from a high flood and fire risk encampment on City parkland off Old San Antonio Road in South Austin to a temporary bridge shelter on Tuesday, kicking off the second phase of the Housing-Focused Encampment Assistance Link (HEAL) initiative.
The encampment addressed Tuesday – located in the Slaughter Creek floodplain in South Austin – is at an extremely high-risk location for floods and fires, city officials said. The 15 people moved to the City-owned Northbridge shelter in North Austin on Tuesday.
The Austin City Council approved the HEAL initiative in February 2021. In the first phase of HEAL, which took place from June to August of 2021, approximately 150 people were moved from high-risk encampments to the Southbridge and Northbridge shelters. The Homeless Strategy Division aims to shelter and house at least 200 people through HEAL this fiscal year.
"Today, we were able to help address critical health, safety and environmental concerns, providing people with access to dignified shelter and housing services,” said Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey. “While we are not currently able to offer immediate shelter and housing to all people impacted by the reinstatement of the camping ordinance, HEAL is an important strategy for responding to some of the most pressing needs, and we look forward to its expansion.”
PHOTOS: City begins second phase of HEAL with high-risk, South Austin encampment
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