AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin announced Wednesday the closures of additional encampments this week, with 43 people assisted through that effort.
The city’s Housing-Focused Encampment Assistance Link (HEAL) Initiative aided in closing the encampments at Barwood Park and the Tom Donovan Nature Trail at the Williamson Creek Greenbelt, per the release. Those 43 residents assisted were relocated to the city’s Northbridge and Southbridge shelters.
City officials added “enforcement presence will be maintained while cleanup is conducted” at the now-former encampments. Those experiencing homelessness and living at those camps were offered access to shelter along with assistance with housing resources, the release said.
“Through HEAL, the City recognizes the challenges faced by those experiencing homelessness and commits to providing them with shelter, support and resources, while ensuring their dignity and well-being are upheld every step of the way,” Interim Homeless Strategy Officer David Gray said in the release.
Austin City Council approved the HEAL Initiative nearly three years ago, in February 2021, before its efforts began in June 2021. Since, city officials said more than 660 individuals have relocated from encampments to the city’s Northbridge and Southbridge shelters.