In the same week that state agencies began clearing homeless encampments under Austin’s highways, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Nov. 7 plans for a state-sanctioned homeless encampment on more than 5 acres of land off US 183 near Montopolis.
Abbott’s office provided no further details on when the encampment would open, but provided 780 US 183 as the official address. His press secretary, John Wittman, said, in a text message, the land is as close to downtown as the state could provide and would have various amenities for the camping population.
“The state-provided location includes portable restrooms, hand washing stations, and comes with commitments from local charities to deliver food multiple times during the day,” Wittman said. “This location will provide access to healthcare providers and homeless case workers to provide care for the homeless.”
A spokesperson for the city of Austin said they did not have enough information to know whether the encampment would help or not. The city’s homelessness strategy team specifically recommended against sanctioning specific areas where the homeless population could camp when City Council floated the idea back in August.