Tag Archives: tents

Tents catch fire near US 183 in northwest Austin, firefighters say it may have been intentionally set

Tents catch fire near US 183 in northwest Austin, firefighters say it may have been intentionally set

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police are searching for a possible suspect after tents and “makeshift living structures” caught fire off U.S. 183 and Pecan Park Boulevard in northwest Austin Friday evening.

The call came in around 6:30 p.m. The Austin Fire Department reported the fire took place in a wooded area, and no injuries were reported.

First responders are clearing the scene now. They were able to extinguish the fire quickly, AFD said.

While AFD said witnesses told firefighters the fire was deliberately set, an official cause hasn’t been determined yet.

The fire is still being investigated, according to AFD.

AFD said the Austin Police Department is searching for a possible suspect. KXAN has reached out to APD for more details.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more details become available.

Author: Jaclyn Ramkissoon
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Tents pop up around Austin City Hall ahead of camping ban taking effect

Tents pop up around Austin City Hall ahead of camping ban taking effect

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Just a few days before the City of Austin’s public camping ban is set to go into effect, you’ll see camps all around city hall.

Dozens of people have pitched up tents there to protest the ordinance taking effect Tuesday.

“We’re out here in solidarity– literal solidarity of our unhoused friends,” says Sam, a member of The Little Petal Alliance, one of a handful of non-profits partnering to organize the camp-in.

They say to break the cycle of homelessness, the city needs to provide housing and better services — like healthcare and mental health help, and until then, people should be allowed to stay in their homes.

“It will be a death sentence for a lot of people if we don’t fight it and make sure the police don’t enforce it,” Sam says.

“At first, it really irritated me and I was like, ‘Hell no, we won’t go,’” says James Ford, who has been experiencing homelessness for about four years.

Now, he says he’s joining the protest because he just wants city leaders to move quickly with resources.

“I would love it if there was more funding to house the homeless,” he says.

He also wants more support– he says it’s hard to balance daily needs, like getting enough food, with finding support services that will help with long-term stability.

“I got schizophrenia, bipolar, paranoia, PTSD and ADHD,” he says.

That’s what he ultimately wants to see come out of Proposition B.

“I want the homeless community to be able to achieve greater things, not be stuck in the same predicament every single day,” Ford says.

For him, that means becoming a mechanic.

On Friday, the city told KXAN that staff is working on a plan to implement the ordinance in phases but hasn’t provided a timeline on when that might be complete.

The city says more details about its plan will be coming out in the next few days.

Author: Tahera Rahman
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Austin City Hall surrounded with tents in camp-in protest against new public camping ban

Austin City Hall surrounded with tents in camp-in protest against new public camping ban

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Opponents of Austin’s public camping ban surrounded City Hall with tents on Friday night in a protest against the ban.

The protest comes in response to voters electing to pass Proposition B, which reinstates the camping ban and reintroduces a criminal penalty for offenders. It passed with 57% of the vote.

The City of Austin has since said the ban will come into effect on May 11.

On Saturday morning, City Hall was still surrounded by tents after protesters apparently slept inside them overnight.

Austin City Hall surrounded with tents in camp-in protest against new public camping ban
Tents surround Austin’s City Hall in a protest against the city’s new camping ban (Picture: KXAN)

Signs reading ‘criminalization kills, housing for all’ and ‘what would city council do without their homes?’ were placed on some of the tents.

City Manager Spencer Cronk told council Thursday the new law passed by voters will be phased in gradually and be done in a safe and humane manner.

“City staff is currently working to develop a phased implementation of the camping ordinance beginning on its effective date of May 11th, with an emphasis on health, safety, and connection to services wherever possible,” a city spokesperson told KXAN in a follow-up email Friday.

Author: Harley Tamplin
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin