Residents of temporary homeless site Camp RATT organize to stay permanently


AUSTIN (KXAN) — People at the State’s homeless camp in southeast Austin say they would welcome the help.

They’re actually organizing out there.

You may have heard: they call themselves Camp R.A.T.T. — which stands for “Responsible Adult Transition Town.”

Today, members of the governing council announced they created an online presence to gather donations.

And they’re taking the next step to becoming permanent- with an app.

“Basically, we’re kind of tired of having to sit here and wait for the city and the state to make do on the promises that they said they were going to do,” said one resident who goes by “Mouse.”

The camp has been open for three months after Gov. Greg Abbott offered up the state-owned land.

It was always meant to be temporary, but these campers have other ideas.

Kent Dahlgren, CEO of 214 Alpha, saw the situation, and decided to step in.

He’s helped refugees develop communities before with software.

And he says this app could help.

“A lot of what we’re doing right now is a lot of high fidelity interaction. to help turn their vision into a reality,” said Dahlgren. “It’s got identity and identity verification. It’s got communication, so you can keep in touch with people in the event they are not in the area.”

Combined with a new website and Facebook page asking for donations, the campers hope to bring in some creature comforts.

“We can maybe help with that by getting bus fare,” said resident Robert Rhodes. “We’re talking about getting showers. We’re getting propane and a big grill. A little cooking place, so we can cook food here.”

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