Advocates Decry Criminalization Of Austin Homeless Population

March 6, 2020

AUSTIN, TX — Advocates for the homeless population in Austin had scheduled a Monday press conference to decry municipal efforts to "re-criminalize" the homeless in dealing with the problem of people living on the streets.

On Sunday, organizers of the "Homes Not Handcuffs" initiative announced a postponement of the press conference: "Because of conflicting events scheduled due to the cancelation of SXSW and the rapidly developing coronavirus emergency, we are postponing tomorrow's Homes Not Handcuffs press conference and will reschedule it in the near future," officials wrote in an emailed update.

Coalition members from several of Austin's largest grassroots organizations — including the ACLU, Grassroots Leadership, Texas Appleseed, the Austin Lawyers Guild, University United Methodist Church, Front Steps, and the Texas Harm Reduction Alliance — had scheduled the gathering to voice their opposition to a petition calling for punitive action against the homeless in Austin, officials said in a press advisory. They are joined on a letter by over two dozen local, state and national service, religious, community, legal and advocacy organizations, organizers added