AUSTIN, Texas (May 1, 2021) — Thousands of Austinites are now at risk of fines and jail time for no other reason than not having a safe, stable place to go. But election results do not change evidence: A home was the first step toward ending homelessness before this vote, and it remains so now.
From the outset, ECHO has followed the lead of our neighbors experiencing homelessness to amplify voices of community members who are too often ignored. Our unhoused neighbors are unequivocally demanding basic human rights like housing and healthcare, and we will continue to support efforts to achieve those rights in Austin.
Our unsheltered neighbors need every one of us to come together to pursue real solutions, to scale up equitable permanent housing opportunities and supportive services that provide a stable foundation on which we all build wellbeing. Our community is stronger and healthier when everyone has the resources to meet their basic needs.
A diverse coalition of partners across Austin committed in recent weeks to scaling up resources to rehouse an additional 3,000 people over the next three years, a result of a first-of-its-kind Summit to Address Unsheltered Homelessness that brought together service providers, people with lived expertise of homelessness, community advocates, the business community, and government agencies. It will take all of us, no matter how you voted, to support and expand on this work.
We’ve been encouraged over the last several weeks to see so many of our fellow Austinites listening to their unhoused neighbors and supporting them in their fight to meet their basic needs. We must keep up this commitment to housing justice. We must continue to do the work.