City of Kyle drafting law to ban camping and begging

Hays

KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — A week after Austin’s homeless camping ban was reinstated, the City of Kyle is officially moving forward to create a law to ban public camping.

There’s a day and night difference between the homeless populations in the neighboring cities. So, why does Kyle want to create a law banning homeless camping?

“I just thought, we don’t have this issue now, so what can we do to possibly avoid it?” District 2 Rep. Yvonne Flores-Cale said.

Flores-Cale spoke up about why she thinks this law is needed at Tuesday’s council meeting. It was well received.

“Obviously with the amount of displacement that could take place in Austin, we might as well figure out what our position is going to be,” Mayor Travis Mitchell said.

Still, there are a lot of questions. Flores-Cale said clarity will be important when the ordinance is written.

“I want to be clear on what it is that we expect, and what it is that we’re doing versus what people assume that we’re doing,” Flores-Cale said.

This camping and begging ordinance is expected to only affect people using tents as permanent housing.

Homeless resource advocates said they expect a change in homeless demographics with more cities implementing camping bans. 

“With the crackdown in different cities and states regarding homeless camping bans, it’s definitely going to have a different shift in people,” Case Manager for Trinity Center of Austin Valerie Leal said.

The Trinity Center helps people track down vital documents needed to obtain housing. Through partnerships, staff also provides food, clothes and more to those in need. The center’s primary goal is to continue serving the region and even others who come from out of state. 

“Whether it’s case management or our financial assistance program, our hope is to help them move toward a situation that they’re in,” Operations Coordinator for Trinity Christian Rodriguez said.

Kyle officials estimate there are between three to four homeless people at any time. But as the city grows, Flores-Cale wants to be prepared.

“This takes research,” Flores-Cale said.

Flores-Cale told KXAN she started doing leg work to bring this ordinance to council before Austin’s camping ban was reinstated. Once it’s drafted, it’ll go before council at least twice within the next month before it could become law. 

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