AUSTIN (KXAN) - An advocacy organization for Austin's homeless wants to sound the alarm against violence against one of the city's more vulnerable populations.
House the Homeless is distributing 1,000 safety whistles encouraging people to protect themselves and others by blowing a shrill whistle to scare away would-be attackers.
"By the time they get there somebody may have been stabbed but the whistle is a deterrent they hear it whistle and they go in the other direction," said Richard Troxell, president of the House the Homeless organization.
The organization said as many as six homeless people have been killed in Austin in the past nine months.
On July 24, the body of William Roy Greer, 49, was found along the Lade Bird Lake high-and-bike trail near West Cesar Chavez Street and Colorado Street. He appeared to have been beaten to death.
Godoy's father says his daughter fell into drugs and then turned to the streets. He hopes the whistles will help prevent what happened to Valerie from ever happening again.
"I'm sure there is a lot of people that are understanding that the homeless people even though they are homeless and that is the life they chose they do need some help," said Vincent Godoy.
Currently there is no homeless shelter strictly for women and children, the most at risk group for violence, here in Austin.
House the Homeless started a petition after Valerie Godoy's death that has recieved over 3,500 signatures. The petition is to raise awareness and gather support to build a new women's shelter, so that no women or children will be turned away.
In Austin there are over 4,000 homeless people and only 700 beds at shelters. House the Homeless says they are working to change those numbers and empower those who don't have a place to call home.
"It's helping them to reach out and say this is my situation I can do something about it," said Troxell.
Police have received reports of at least 49 reports involving a homeless person in a violent crime. In 65 percent of all violent crimes during that period, the homeless person was the victim. In 45 percent, the homeless person was the suspect. The overlap is due to crimes where both the suspect and victim were homeless.
The Austin Parks Department board will vote on a new design for Auditorium Shores that expands a proposed off leash dog park area by one acre.
Two school buses crashed Tuesday morning in South Austin but none of the children on board were hurt, officials said.
On Tuesday, Capital Metro will roll out it's new MetroRapid fleet and run multiple tests gearing up for its January 2014 debut.
An 8-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Democrats say they finally hold a statewide office again in Texas — thanks to a Republican who's switching sides.
Leander ISD is one of the fastest growing school districts in the state. Their latest demographic report shows a shift in the type of families moving into the district.