A Austin resident raises awareness about the city’s homelessness problem and its hidden impact on greenbelt areas.
Jamie Hammonds is an investigative film maker who runs Documenting Austin Streets and Homeless (DASH). He shared videos on Twitter Wednesday showing a homelessness encampment along the Violet Crown Trail, after a period of neglect.
“It’s destroyed. Hammonds tweeted that it will never be the “same”.
An agent for real estate agreed, saying that “environmental damage caused by these camps is enormous.”
Hammonds’ videos from Wednesday morning show mountains of garbage littering the trail for as far as the eyes can see. Hammonds saw cars, trailers and mountains of garbage. He also reported seeing hundreds of homeless people.
You can smell them in the summer. These large camps of homeless people. Hammond told Fox News Digital that the trash and other stuff was being thrown up. There are about 300 people living in the woods. The trail is littered with garbage and has been completely decimated.
Hammonds blamed officials of the city for the worsening of the problem. He claimed that city policies had pushed homeless people into greenbelts, where they were out of sight. Many city residents are unaware that the problem still exists.
The problem is there, but people don’t realize it. He said that they don’t know how many people there are in the woods.
Hammond bemoaned the damage to the trail, noting how the “Crown Jewel of Austin”, and other green spaces like it, make people forget that they are in an urban area.
Hammond, a man who was once homeless, said he wasn’t out to humiliate the unfortunate, but rather to put pressure on city officials so they could get them into shelters.
Hammond stated that he would like to see the city provide services for them to help them off the street if they so desired. “It is a tragedy what is happening here.”