AUSTIN — A few weeks ago, the Austin Police Department told KXAN that the homeless population had “exploded.” Since then, city leaders and officials have been devising plans to address the growth with those down on their luck.
One of those plans is to have homeless camps cleaned up periodically. However, when the weather turned cold, taking what little they have can be a precarious ordeal for those who sleep under overpasses.
Roxanne and Bret Bourland have been living on the streets for five years. The two are in their late 50s. “We don’t want to live like this, we weren’t raised like this. It’s not like I have a long time to try and enjoy a little bit of life,” said Roxanne.
The two have lived near, or under South Congress at 290. On Wednesday, TxDOT came by and loaded most of the material things that were in the camp. Where the material possession go is not known.
“They took all my babies pictures…and my mother passed away and they took all of the pictures of her,” says Bourland as she held back tears.
KXAN reached out to TxDOT for more information about the clean up, but our inquiry was not returned.
In the meantime, the Bourlands and the rest who call the concrete intersection home, will gather new materials to keep warm as the temperature drops — materials such as U-Haul blankets.
“U-Haul, thank God for them for real because they throw away blankets and they leave them in the back of the trucks and I know it sounds funny, but U-haul has probably saved countless lives.,” said Bret Bourland.
Additionally, they say they will have to deal with a citation they received from the Austin Police Department in the amount of $300. The offense?