The event drew hundreds to talk about recent changes to Austin's public order ordinances and solutions for those experiencing homelessness in the metro area.
On Aug. 29, the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the LBJ Foundation hosted a public forum featuring city officials and community leaders to discuss the city's plans to move forward with solutions for individuals experiencing homelessness in Austin.
An audience of nearly 1,000 people attended the panel, which featured Mayor Steve Adler; Austin Police Chief Brian Manley; Susan McDowell, CEO, LifeWorks; Matthew Mollica, executive director of ECHO; Chris Harris, community advocate with Homes Not Handcuffs; Sherri Greenberg, clinical professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs; and Bill Brice, VP of Investor Relations, Downtown Austin Alliance. Dean Angela Evans welcomed the panelists and the crowd, Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto curated questions from the audience, and Steven Pedigo, professor of practice and the director of the LBJ Urban Lab, moderated the conversation.
Watch the archived livestream on Mayor Adler's Facebook page.
The Public Forum on Homelessness in Austin in the media:
- Austin forum addresses homelessness solutions (Austin American-Statesman, Aug. 30, 2019)
- Mayor Adler, APD Chief Manley discuss homelessness solutions with panelists (The Daily Texan, Aug. 29, 2019)
- Mayor Adler: City needs places that can be used as emergency housing for homeless (CBS Austin, Aug. 29, 2019)
- Mayor expects homeless camping restrictions to be announced Friday (KXAN, Aug. 29, 2019)
- Mayor Adler hopes city will have action item on homelessness by mid September (Fox 7, Aug. 30, 2019)
The Public Forum on Homelessness in Austin on social media:
A sampling of comments from Twitter:
.#atxhomelessforum The @Nextdoor racism is very palpable in this room right now. I can’t believe some of the community comments I’m hearing right now. No the homelessness is not making you unsafe; you need to check your data and check your privilege. @TheLBJSchool @austintexasgov— Estevan Delgado (@EstevanDelgado) Aug. 30, 2019
OurExecutive Director, Susan McDowell, is participating in a panel this evening on homelessness. She’ll be sharing the ways that we’ve already made an impact on #endingyouthhomelessness #atxhomelessforum #atxcouncil pic.twitter.com/aXYWEAtHns— LifeWorks (@LifeWorksAustin) Aug. 29, 2019
People yelling about the homeless shelters placement reminding me of angry racists and what that was like for black people in past. Yikes #ATXhomelessforum— Kannou Aiana (@blueinfernopro) August 29, 2019
Chris Harris with the biggest applause line of the night. Reminds us all that homeless people are our neighbors. #atxhomelessforum— Dylan Shubitz (@DylanShubitz) Aug. 30, 2019
Did you know that aging out of foster care and moving in and out of the juvenile justice system are some of the biggest causes for youth experiencing homelessness? #atxhomelessforum #EndYouthHomelessness pic.twitter.com/l2IKo20zZm— LifeWorks (@LifeWorksAustin) Aug. 29, 2019
Absolutely disgusting to compare Haruka Weisers murder to hazing. #ATXhomelessforum @MayorAdler how is this acceptable to you? #utparent #UTAustin @gregfenves when is UT going to sit at the table and get involved? #HarukaWeiser https://t.co/snW8bsPaua— Shawn Abel (@sabelmom) Aug. 30, 2019
Panel - The more we can do to share data on homelessness across all systems of care the more efficiently we can serve people and quickly move people out of homelessness.— Eric Samuels (@EricSamuels) Aug. 30, 2019
Ok, let's implement a Homeless Data Sharing Network to do this. #ATXhomelessforum
Our state leaders need to also support solutions for homelessness.— Tara Pohlmeyer (@tarapohlmeyer) Aug. 30, 2019
The state of Texas has a homeless problem, and our city for doing something about it. #ATXHomelessForum
Why does the downtown alliance get a seat on every homelessness forum? #atxhomelessforum— Dylan Shubitz (@DylanShubitz) Aug. 29, 2019
Attending tonight’s Public Forum on Homelessness in Austin, with a packed room. I’m excited to hear a solutions-oriented discussion focused on how we can help our neighbors! #ATXHomelessForum pic.twitter.com/gJkFhdfRZP— Tara Pohlmeyer (@tarapohlmeyer) Aug. 29, 2019
“There are more deaths from hazing on this campus than there are from homeless people.”— Ross Trivisonno (@RossTrivisonno) Aug. 30, 2019
— Chris Harris, from Homes Not Handcuffs, at #ATXhomelessforum earlier tonight w/ @MayorAdler, @Chief_Manley et al. pic.twitter.com/y84WZeQANG
Would have been nice to have had a lone conservative voice on the panel tonight #ATXhomelessforum— Parker (@whodatintexas89) Aug. 30, 2019
“People that are camping in your neighborhoods are your neighbors, too,” says @chrisharris101. a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ATXHomelessForum?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ATXHomelessForum— Tara Pohlmeyer (@tarapohlmeyer) Aug. 30, 2019