AUSTIN (KXAN) — In a public newsletter, Mayor Kirk Watson addressed spending concerns surrounding the City of Austin’s homeless population.
“The public safety net that provides mental health care for our most vulnerable neighbors – those who are unhoused – is badly frayed,” Watson said.
In the newsletter, Watson said there was a lack of coordination between multiple local jurisdictions, which ultimately “contributed to a near-crisis” toward the end of August.
Following the incident, Austin City Council Member Mackenzie Kelly requested in a memo that the city consider a full audit of its homelessness services and spending.
Watson said representatives of Central Health, Integral Care, Travis County, the City of Austin and Dell Medical School at UT Austin agreed to launch a joint independent review of its homeless services.
According to the newsletter, the review would include strategy evaluations, an examination of each entity’s contracts related to homelessness, and an analysis of the coordination of services and delivery.
Watson said the review is expected to be completed by early next year.
“We’re too often measuring progress simply by how much we’re spending, not by the actual results of that spending,” Watson said. “Focusing on the money may create the appearance of great effort, but it’s not helping us to get ahead of the challenge.”