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[Voice of Jeff Patterson, CPIO, Moderator Dianna Grey, City of Austin Homeless Strategy Officer Voice of Bridget Spencer, FOX 7]

[00:00:08]

GOOD MORNING, THIS MOSTYN'S MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE WELCOMING YOU TO THIS MEDIA AVAILABILITY WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN'S HOMELESS SECURITY STRATEGY OFFICER, UM, DIANA GRAY, UH, TO ANSWER QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA.

WE'RE FORTUNATE TO HAVE BRIDGET SPENCER FROM FOX NEWS WHO WILL BE SERVING AS OUR, UM, GOOGLE REPORTER FOR TODAY'S MEDIA AVAILABILITY.

UM, WE'LL START WITH SOME OPENING COMMENTS, UM, FROM, UH, DIANA, UH, AND THEN WE'LL TURN IT OVER TO BRIDGET, UH, TO ASK THE QUESTIONS, UH, AND THEN, UM, WE'LL GO THROUGH AND EXPECT THAT THIS, UH, AVAILABILITY WILL LAST, UH, UNTIL 10 AND THIS MORNING, UH, WITH THAT SAID, I'M GOING TO TURN IT OVER TO DIANA.

UM, SO WELCOME YOU TO THE, THE AVAILABILITY, DIANA, UH, DIANA GRAY HOMELESS STRATEGY OFFICER FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN HERE.

UM, THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO SPEND WITH US THIS MORNING.

UH, VERY EXCITED TO SPEND A BIT OF TIME, UM, UPDATING FOLKS ON THE WORK THAT HAS BEEN DONE OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF MONTHS SINCE OUR LAST VISIT.

AND I WILL TELL YOU NOW THAT I HAVE BEEN IN THE POSITION FOR THREE MONTHS, UM, THERE IS STILL A AS YOU WELL KNOW VERY MUCH, UH, UH, UH, A BODY OF WORK IN FRONT OF US, BUT I AM FEELING VERY ENCOURAGED AND I'D LIKE TO, I THINK, SHARE WITH YOU SOME OF THE THINGS, UM, THAT HAVE HAPPENED IN THESE PAST THREE MONTHS THAT, UM, GIVE ME REAL FAITH THAT WE ARE MOVING FORWARD AND MAKING PROGRESS.

SO WE, UH, IN THE LAST YEAR RECEIVED A FAIR AMOUNT OF MONEY FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR COVID RESPONSE.

AND THROUGH THOSE FUNDS, WE HAVE, UH, PUSHED DOLLARS INTO THE COMMUNITY THAT WE BELIEVE WILL HOUSE OVER 400 ADDITIONAL PEOPLE THROUGH RAPID REHOUSING.

THOSE PROGRAMS ARE NOW LARGELY UP AND RUNNING.

WE STILL HAVE SOME CONTRACTS THAT ARE GOING OUT, BUT THOSE WILL BE 400 ADDITIONAL PEOPLE OVER AND ABOVE WHAT WE TYPICALLY ARE ABLE TO DO IN A YEAR.

WE HAVE PLACED CONTRACTS ON TWO HOTELS THAT WILL, UH, EVENTUALLY PROVIDE 140 UNITS OF PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING COUNCIL HAS PASSED, UH, THE HEAL INITIATIVE RESOLUTION, WHICH TAKES A REALLY CREATIVE APPROACH TO ADDRESSING UNSHELTERED HOMELESSNESS IN A HUMANE WAY, AND CONNECTING FOLKS TO HOUSING.

WE EXPECT THAT THAT WILL REHOUSE AT LEAST A HUNDRED PEOPLE, UH, AND ALL OF THAT IS HAPPENING BEFORE WE ROLL OUT THE RESULTS OF THE SUMMIT THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON TO ADDRESS, TO ADDRESS UNSHELTERED HOMELESSNESS.

SO WE'VE GOT GREAT MOMENTUM, AND WE THINK THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO SHARE WITH THE COMMUNITY, SOME REALLY AGGRESSIVE GOALS OVER THE NEXT WEEK OR TWO, UM, THAT WILL HELP US FURTHER, UH, COALESCE AROUND OUR EFFORTS.

FINALLY, I THINK I WANT TO MENTION THAT THIS ISN'T JUST WORK THAT THE CITY IS DOING WITH ITS JURISDICTIONAL PARTNERS, BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAS HAPPENED OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF MONTHS, UH, IS THAT A WINTER STORM URI OCCURRED, AND THAT WAS, UH, AN EXTREME CHALLENGE FOR THE WHOLE COMMUNITY.

BUT IN PARTICULAR, AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, IT WAS EXTRAORDINARILY DANGEROUS FOR OUR UNSHELTERED NEIGHBORS.

SO NOT ONLY DID THE CITY, UM, VERY QUICKLY STAND UP SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER FOR THAT POPULATION, BUT MANY, MANY INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY.

AND, UM, AND THOSE, UH, GRASSROOTS GROUPS PULLED TOGETHER TO GET PEOPLE OUT OF THAT WEATHER.

AND I HA I WILL TELL YOU THAT I BELIEVE WE SAVED A LOT OF LIVES IN THAT EFFORT.

AND FOR ME, IT WAS REALLY, UH, EVIDENCE OF THE REAL COMMITMENT OF THIS COMMUNITY TO END HOMELESSNESS AND TO PROVIDE THE RESOURCES THAT OUR NEIGHBORS NEED TO LIVE A DIGNIFIED LIFE.

SO WITH THAT, I WILL CLOSE AND TAKE ANY QUESTION.

GREAT.

THANK YOU.

UM, BRIDGET.

YEAH.

GOOD MORNING.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON.

SO, UM, FIRST QUESTION IS FROM US HERE AT FOX SEVEN, WHEN WILL THE CAMP START TO BE, UH, OFFICIALLY MOVED? SO RICHARD, I THINK YOU'RE RE YOU'RE REFERRING TO THE HEAL INITIATIVE, UM, WHICH IS THE FIRST PHASE OF THE HEAL INITIATIVE, WHICH INSTRUCTS STAFF TO TARGET FOR ENCAMPMENTS, WHERE THERE ARE SOME REAL HEALTH AND SAFETY CONCERNS.

OUR OVERALL TIMELINE IS TO BEGIN IMPLEMENTING THAT INITIATIVE OVER THE SUMMER.

WE ARE STILL IN THE PROCESS OF FINALIZING OUR

[00:05:01]

RELATIONSHIPS WITH OUR SERVICE PROVIDERS, UM, WHO WILL BE DOING THE LION'S SHARE OF THAT WORK.

AND SO THAT WILL DETERMINE OUR PRECISE START DATE, BUT I WILL SAY THAT, UH, OUR ANTICIPATED TIMELINE WOULD, UH, WOULD BEGIN OVER THE SUMMER.

WE WON'T GO IN AND CLOSE AN ENCAMPMENT IMMEDIATELY.

THE STRATEGY IS THAT WE ENGAGE CLOSELY WITH THOSE INDIVIDUALS IN THE ENCAMPMENT AND ARE ABLE TO OFFER THEM SHELTER AND PERMANENT HOUSING, UM, BEFORE THAT CAMPSITE.

RIGHT.

AWESOME.

THANK YOU.

UH, NEXT QUESTION IS FROM CVS OFTEN, IS THERE PRESSURE TO SHOW THAT THE CITY IS DOING SOMETHING IN ADVANCE OF THE MAY PROPOSITION VOTES AND WILL THE HEAL INITIATIVE DO ENOUGH? SO, FIRST OF ALL, I WOULD SAY THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF PRESSURE TO ADDRESS THIS CRISIS, UH, AND THAT PRESSURE HAS EXISTED AND SHOULD HAVE LONG BEFORE THE BALLOT INITIATIVE WAS EVEN ON, UM, ON THE HORIZON.

AND SO THAT PRESSURE IS ABOUT, UM, THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT ARE LIVING ON THE STREETS AND DESPERATELY NEED HOUSING.

THE HEAL INITIATIVE IS AN APPROACH THAT SETS US UP FOR A STRATEGY, UM, THAT WE BELIEVE WE'LL HAVE SHORT TERM, UH, VISIBLE CHANGE, BUT IS NOT JUST ABOUT A QUICK FIX, BUT IT'S ABOUT US MOVING FORWARD AND, UM, IN A VERY INTENTIONAL WAY.

AND, UM, AND IN INCREASING SCALE, HELPING PEOPLE MOVE OFF THE STREETS, NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE TEXAN, THE VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE GOAL MAY WORK FOR SOME PORTION OR EVEN A LARGE PORTION OF THE HOMELESS POPULATION, BUT THERE IS A VERY REAL PORTION OF THE POPULATION THAT PREFERS LIVING, WHERE THEY ARE NOW WITH A NON-PUNITIVE APPROACH.

HOW DOES THE CITY EXPECT TO GET THOSE INDIVIDUALS TO COMPLY AND MOVE INTO SHELTER? SO I THINK THAT THERE ARE TWO ISSUES THAT YOU BRING UP HERE.

ONE IS THE PERCEPTION THAT THERE'S A SUBSTANTIAL POPULATION WHO WILL NOT MOVE INTO HOUSING.

AND THE SECOND IS COMPLIANCE, WHICH IS NOT COMPLIANCE.

UH, WE'RE NOT GONNA FORCE ANYONE INTO SHELTER.

IT IS COMPLIANCE WITH THE DESIGNATION OF CERTAIN SITES, UM, AS NON CAMPING AREAS.

SO LET ME ADDRESS THAT FIRST.

I THINK, UM, THE ORDINANCE AS IT STANDS DOES, UM, DOES ESTABLISH CERTAIN AREAS OF THE CITY AS NON CAMPING AREAS.

AND WE'VE HAD VARIOUS VERSIONS OF THAT OVER TIME.

UM, RIGHT NOW THOSE AREAS ARE LIMITED PREDOMINANTLY TO OUR PARKLANDS AND TO SPECIFIC AREAS THAT HAVE BEEN DEEMED, UM, UNSAFE FOR PEOPLE TO OCCUPY THE HEAL INITIATIVE.

DOESN'T EXPLICITLY CHANGE, UM, THE ABILITY TO ENFORCE WHERE NECESSARY, BUT WHAT IT DOES IS REALLY REDIRECT US AS STAFF TO NOT RELY ON CRIMINALIZATION OF HOMELESSNESS IN THOSE SPACES, BUT TO BE REALLY SMART ABOUT HOW WE DESIGNATE SPACES AS NON, UH, AS NON CAMPING AND, UM, AND ARE THOUGHTFUL ABOUT THE DESIGN AND USE OF THOSE SPACES, UH, TO ENCOURAGE THAT VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE.

THE SECOND PIECE THAT I THINK WE HEAR A LOT IS THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO JUST DON'T WANT TO COME OFF THE STREETS.

AND I THINK THAT, UM, THAT PERCEPTION HAS NOT REALLY BEEN TESTED.

UH, WE HAVE AN EXTRAORDINARILY LONG WAIT LIST FOR HOUSING.

THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF PEOPLE WHO ARE READY TO MOVE INTO HOUSING, AND VERY OFTEN THE PERCEPTION THAT PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO, UM, MOVE OFF THE STREETS IS ABOUT PERHAPS THEM BEING UNWILLING TO MOVE INTO A CONGREGATE SHELTER, UM, WHICH IS, UM, UH, CAN BE A PRETTY DIFFICULT ENVIRONMENT OR THAT THEY HAD NOT BEEN OFFERED HOUSING THAT TRULY MEETS THEIR NEEDS.

AND SO, YOU KNOW, I THINK, UM, MY SORT OF RESPONSES LET'S GET EVERYONE HOUSED, WHO'S READY TO BE HOUSED AND THEN SEE THE EVIDENCE OF WHAT THAT PURPORTED POPULATION IS REALLY LIKE AND GO FROM THERE.

BUT WE ARE FAR FAR FROM THAT PLACE RIGHT NOW.

THANK YOU.

THIS IS A NEXT QUESTION.

I'M K DO THE CITY HAS ALREADY SPENT MILLIONS ON ADDRESSING HOMELESSNESS AND MANY ARGUE THE SITUATION HAS BECOME EVEN WORSE.

WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THOSE FOLKS WHO DO NOT TRUST THAT THIS NEW PLAN WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE? SO I, FIRST OF ALL, I WILL SAY THAT EDIE ANALYSIS THAT ANYBODY HAS DONE OF OUR SYSTEMS, OUR COMMUNITIES, EXCUSE ME, HOMELESS RESPONSE SYSTEM HAS IDENTIFIED THAT WE ARE FAR, FAR UNDER RESOURCED, UH, TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE ADEQUATELY.

SO THE IDEA THAT WE HAVE, UH, BECAUSE WE HAVE SPENT, UH,

[00:10:01]

OR EXTENDED RESOURCES IN RESPONSE TO THIS PROBLEM, AND IT IS NOT GONE, I THINK IS A REAL LOGICAL FALLACY.

THE MONIES THAT ARE BEING SPENT HAVE PREVENTED AND DO PREVENT PEOPLE FROM FALLING INTO HOMELESSNESS, THEY HAVE, AND WILL CONTINUE TO REHOUSE PEOPLE.

AND THEY ARE SUPPORTING PEOPLE IN HOUSING RIGHT NOW WITH SOME RENTAL SUPPORTS AND SERVICES THAT THEY NEED.

SO THE MESSAGE HERE, I THINK IS THAT YES, UH, AS A CITY, WE NEED TO BE VERY COUNTABLE FOR THE GOOD USE OF THOSE FUNDS.

UH, BUT THE REALITY IS WE HAVE NOT SCALED UP, UH, TO THE LEVEL THAT IS NEEDED TO REALLY ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM, UH, IN THE PAST.

THANKS.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM KX SANS, WHICH FOR HOMELESS ENCAMPMENTS, DO YOU ANTICIPATE BEING SELECTED? ARE THERE SOME ALREADY IDENTIFIED AS CAUSING THE GREATEST RISK TO HEALTH AND SAFETY? SO THE HEAL INITIATIVE IDENTIFIES IN GENERAL TERMS, UH, FOUR AREAS OF TOWN AND FOUR PROFILES OF ENCAMPMENTS THAT THEY WOULD LIKE US TO APPROACH.

AND SO THOSE AREAS ARE IN NORTHWEST AUSTIN, IN NEAR EAST AUSTIN, DOWNTOWN AND SOUTH CENTRAL, AND THE RISKS THAT, UM, THOSE SITES PROPOSE ARE VARIED.

AND PART OF THE DESIGN THERE, I THINK, WAS FOR US TO LOOK AT DIFFERENT SITES AND UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENT CELL HEALTH AND SAFETY RISKS THERE AND HOW WE MIGHT ADDRESS THEM.

SO THE SPECIFIC SITES, UM, WILL NOT BE MADE PUBLIC BECAUSE IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT.

I THINK THAT WE PROTECT THE PRIVACY OF THOSE FOLKS AND ARE ABLE TO WORK WITH THEM, UM, CLOSELY, UH, IN AN ORGANIZED FASHION.

UM, BUT WE WILL CERTAINLY BE SHARING THE RESULTS OF THAT WORK, UH, AS IT MOVES FORWARD.

NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THESE STATEMENTS, HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU ANTICIPATE THE SHELTER BEING ABLE TO ACCOMMODATE? AND I BELIEVE THAT YOU'RE REFERRING TO THE, THE, UH, DEDICATED SHELTER THAT WE BELIEVE WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE HEAL INITIATIVE.

WE ANTICIPATE THAT WE WILL NEED AT ANY GIVEN TIME, PROBABLY AT LEAST 50 SHELTER BEDS TO ACCOMMODATE THE FOLKS THAT WE'LL BE SERVING THROUGH PHASE ONE, UM, IN, IN THE, OF THE HEAL INITIATIVE.

AND SO WE WERE LOOKING AT OUR OPTIONS THAT WOULD GIVE US THAT CAPACITY THAT DOES NOT PRECLUDE US FROM IDENTIFYING A SITE THAT HAS ADDITIONAL CAPACITY.

AND WE HAVE THE NEXT QUESTION FROM KATIE.

CAN YOU BREAK DOWN THE SHARE OF HOW THE ALLOCATION AND THIS PLAN, HOW MANY FOLKS WOULD BE CONNECTED TO THE BRIDGE SHELTER VERSUS RAPID REHOUSING VERSUS PUBLIC SUPPORTIVE HOUSING? SURE.

SO, FIRST OF ALL, I'LL SAY, AND I THINK THIS IS AN IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION.

EVERY PERSON ENGAGED THROUGH THIS PROCESS WILL BE OFFERED PERMANENT HOUSING.

AND SO INITIALLY THE BULK OF THAT PROBABLY WILL BE RE RAPID REHOUSING, BUT WE ANTICIPATE THAT WE WILL IDENTIFY FOLKS AS PART OF THAT GLOBAL POPULATION WHO WILL NEED LONGER-TERM SERVICES THROUGH PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING.

AND OUR INTENT AT THIS POINT IS TO STRATEGICALLY LINK THOSE FOLKS AS OPENINGS BECOME AVAILABLE IN PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING, PARTICULARLY AS WE HAVE NEW PROGRAMMING COME ONLINE OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS, THE ACCESS TO SHELTER IS REALLY ON AN AS NECESSARY BASIS.

WE KNOW THAT OFTEN, EVEN IF WE'RE ABLE TO OFFER ENROLLMENT AND A RAPID REHOUSING PROGRAM, IT MAY TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF TIME TO LOCATE A UNIT TO GO THROUGH THE APPLICATION PROCESS AND TO ACTUALLY PLACE THE INDIVIDUAL.

SO IT'S TO ENSURE THAT THERE IS ACTUALLY SOME PLACE FOR FOLKS TO GO TO BE WORKING WITH, UM, SERVICE STAFF AND HOUSING LOCATION STAFF DURING THAT INTERIM PERIOD.

YEAH.

NEXT, THE QUESTION WAS TALKING AROUND TO HERE, UM, UH, QUESTIONING THAT FOX SEVEN YESTERDAY.

YOU MENTIONED THAT ALL BEFORE CAMP SITES WILL BE DESIGNATED AS NON CAMPING AREA BY AUGUST OR THE END OF AUGUST.

WE'LL CAMPING THERE AT THAT POINT, HAVE CRIMINAL CONSEQUENCES, OR HOW DOES THAT WORK? SO, UM, AT LEAST ONE OF THOSE SITES IS ALREADY OFFICIALLY, UM, DESIGNATED AS A NON CAMPING SET BECAUSE IT'S PARKLAND THE QUESTION OF OVERALL ENFORCEMENT AND HOW, AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS, I THINK WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT ON A BROADER LEVEL.

SO AS MANY OF, YOU KNOW, SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC, WE HAVEN'T BEEN ENDEAVORING TO FOLLOW THE CDC GUIDELINES ABOUT NOT MOVING CAMPSITES JUST TO MOVE THEM.

UM, AND WE ARE ALSO FACED WITH A, IN WHICH THE TRAVIS COUNTY JAIL IS BEING VERY CAREFUL ABOUT THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE THEY ACTUALLY PLACED IN JAIL, UH, BECAUSE OF

[00:15:01]

COVID RISKS AS WELL.

SO NORMALLY A CITATION FOR CAMPING IS, IS FIRST OF ALL, IS A MISDEMEANOR OFFENSE.

SO AGAIN, WE, UM, HAVE STRATEGIES AND OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT EXERCISES DISCRETION ALWAYS IN TERMS OF WHAT ENFORCEMENT LOOKS LIKE, BUT WE WILL REALLY BE WORKING TO PROMOTE VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE.

UH, AND THEN WE WILL BE UP CERTAINLY AS A COMMUNITY.

UM, I THINK GRAPPLING WITH WHAT ENFORCEMENT MIGHT LOOK LIKE ACKNOWLEDGING THAT THE VALUE OF COUNSEL THAT HAS BEEN EXPRESSED IS THAT IT SHOULDN'T BE A CRIMINAL ACT, UH, SIMPLY TO BE POOR AND ON THE STREETS.

AND THAT THE REAL SOLUTION HERE IS NOT, UM, IS NOT CITATION AND A COURT DATE.

IT IS, UM, MOVING FOLKS INTO HOUSING.

NEXT QUESTION FROM CDN OFTEN IN MOVING PEOPLE FROM AN ENCAMPMENT TO A SHELTER OR OTHER HOUSING, WHAT STEPS IS THE CITY TAKING TO PREVENT COVID SPREAD AT THEIR DESTINATION? GREAT, THANK YOU.

UM, SO WHEN THE SHELTER THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT AT THIS POINT IS NON CONGREGATE SHELTER.

AND SO WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT EACH INDIVIDUAL WOULD HAVE, UM, A SEPARATE SPACE SO THAT THEY COULD SAFELY SOCIAL DISTANCE.

UM, DURING THE PANDEMIC.

NOW, THERE ARE A COUPLE OF THINGS I THINK ARE REALLY ENCOURAGING AND MIGHT GIVE US SOME ADDITIONAL FLEXIBILITY GOING FORWARD AND REPRESENT, UM, SOME INCREASED, I THINK, PROTECTION AGAINST THE VIRUS.

FIRST OF ALL, WE ARE CERTAINLY SEEING OVERALL A DECREASE IN TRANSMISSION RATES.

AND SECONDLY, THE AVAILABILITY OF VACCINE IS INCREASING.

AND WE ARE BEGINNING TO WORK WITH OUR PROVIDERS TO SPECIFICALLY TARGET POPULATIONS, EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS, OR THAT ARE IN SHELTERS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE GET THAT VACCINE TO THEM.

UH, VERY OFTEN THESE ARE FOLKS WITH COMPLEX HEALTH CONDITIONS THAT MAKE THEM MORE, UM, SUSCEPTIBLE TO POOR OUTCOMES.

SHOULD THEY, UH, CONTRACT THE VIRUS? SO GETTING THAT VACCINE OUT THERE, AND THEN OF COURSE THE BEST WAY TO SOCIALLY DISTANCE IS TO HAVE YOUR OWN PERMANENT HOUSING AND YOUR OWN UNIT TO LIVE IN.

AND SO THAT'S OUR ULTIMATE GOAL.

THANK YOU.

THE TEXTING HAS YOU HAVE A QUESTION, OBVIOUSLY, THE CITY AND THE STATE HAVE BEEN AT ODDS OVER THE ISSUE OF GOVERNOR ABBOTT'S OFFICE OR EIGHT OTHER STATE OFFICIALS THEN INCLUDED IN THE STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT.

SO WE'RE CERTAINLY COMMUNICATING, UM, WITH OUR, OUR LEGISLATORS, OUR, UM, OUR DELEGATION ABOUT THE PLANNING THAT AUSTIN IS DOING.

AND THIS AGAIN IS NOT JUST THE CITY PLANNING, BUT AS THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE, PARTICULARLY IN THE CONTEXT OF THE SUMMIT, LOOKS AT, UM, A STRATEGIC OVERARCHING, UH, PLAN, STATE RESOURCES ARE A BIG PART OF THAT.

THEY NEED TO BE, AND THEY SHOULD BE.

AND SO WE ARE LOOKING AT AND PRESUMING THAT WE WILL LEVERAGE A STATE RESOURCES THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO US AND ARE ABSOLUTELY, UM, OPEN AND EAGER TO COLLABORATE WITH.

OKAY.

NEXT QUESTION FROM KGU WILL, HOW DO PEOPLE DO HEAL PERSPECTIVE, PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALREADY BEEN IN LINE WAITING FOR HOW THEY PLEASE EXPLAIN? I THINK THIS IS A GREAT QUESTION.

SO TH YOU KNOW, I THINK THE DIFFERENCE IN PRIORITIZATION AROUND HEALS IS OBVIOUSLY THAT WE'RE FOCUSING ON LOCATIONS.

WE DO HAVE, UH, INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE, UM, UH, WAITING FOR HOUSING AND THE COMMUNITY RIGHT NOW, MANY OF THEM FRANKLY, MAY BE IN THESE ENCAMPMENTS, UH, THAT WE TARGET.

UH, ANYWAY, HOWEVER, WE ARE BRINGING NEW RESOURCES TO THE TABLE FOR THIS EFFORT.

SO WE CONTINUE TO HAVE THE PROGRAMS THAT WE HAVE HAD, UH, IN THIS COMMUNITY TO HOUSE PEOPLE WHO ARE ON A PRIORITY LIST FOR HOUSING.

IN THIS CASE, WE WILL BE ADDING BOTH RESOURCES AND A NEW STRATEGY FOR TARGETING INDIVIDUALS FOR HOUSING.

UH, AND THE GOAL REALLY IS THAT OVER TIME, WE'RE ABLE TO RESOURCE OUR SYSTEM AND TO PICK UP OUR PACE, SUCH THAT BOTH PEOPLE WHO ARE IN TARGETED ENCAMPMENTS AND THOSE WHO WE KNOW HAVE BEEN IN NEED OF HOUSING FOR A LONG TIME, UH, ARE INCREASINGLY OFFERED, UM, HOUSING, UH, ON A MUCH SHORTER TIME TIMELINE.

THANK YOU.

HAS A QUESTION.

HOW MUCH MONEY DID YOU RECEIVE FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND WHAT SPECIFICALLY IS THAT MONEY GOING TOWARDS? SO FOR, FROM THE, THE CARES ACT, THERE WERE A COUPLE OF TRANCHES, OF COURSE, OF, UM, OF CARES ACT MONEY THAT CAME DOWN LAST YEAR.

AND SO I'M A, UH, GET THESE SPECIFICS, RIGHT.

BUT ABSOLUTELY HAPPY TO FOLLOW UP WITH THE CONCRETE NUMBERS.

MY, UH, I UNDERSTAND THAT THE MONEY THAT CAME DOWN EXPLICITLY FOR HOUSING WAS, UM, THEREABOUTS OF $13 MILLION.

AND WE HAVE DEDICATED, UM,

[00:20:01]

ALMOST ALL OF THAT, I THINK, TO THE TUNE OF 12 MILLION OR SO TO RAPID REHOUSING.

SO VERY DIRECTLY TO HOUSING RESOURCES, UH, AND THE SERVICES THAT ARE NEEDED TO KEEP PEOPLE STABLE IN HOUSING, RAPID RE-HOUSING IS A TIME LIMITED PROGRAM, UH, BUT TYPICALLY PROVIDES FOLKS WITH SOME SUPPORT AND SOME RENTAL SUPPORT ANYWHERE FROM A FEW MONTHS UP TO A COUPLE OF YEARS.

UH, AND THEN I THINK, UH, ALSO OF COURSE WE ARE ANTICIPATING DOLLARS BEING RECEIPT FROM THE MOST RECENT AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT, THE RESOURCES COMING TO THE CITY THAT ARE EXPLICITLY TARGETED TO HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS OR HOMELESSNESS, I SHOULD SAY, UH, WE EXPECT TO BE ABOUT 11.7 MILLION.

THOSE DOLLARS ARE TARGETED, UH, TO CAPITAL COSTS FOR ACQUISITION OR RENOVATION OF, OF FACILITIES.

BUT AS YOU KNOW, COUNSEL, UM, HAS REALLY PRIORITIZED THIS ISSUE.

AND SO THEY ARE LOOKING AT THE BROADER POT, EXCUSE ME, OF DOLLARS THAT ARE COMING DOWN FROM, UH, FROM THE FEDS IN THIS AREA TO SEE WHETHER WE CAN LEVERAGE THOSE DOLLARS ALSO TO MOVE US FORWARD IN A REALLY SUBSTANTIAL WAY IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.

NO QUESTION FROM THE STATEMENT, DO YOU BELIEVE PRIVATE COUNTY SHOULD BE CONTRIBUTING MORE FINANCIALLY TO OFFSET THE HOMELESSNESS PROBLEM? SO IT'S GOING TO TAKE ALL OF US.

UM, AND WE ARE EAGER TO PARTNER WITH TRAVIS COUNTY AND THERE ARE A LOT OF CONVERSATIONS ONGOING ALSO SAY THAT TRAVIS COUNTY DOES A LOT IN TERMS OF PREVENTION.

UH, WE WORKED CLOSELY WITH THEIR STAFF AT THE PALMER, UH, DURING, UH, UH, WINTER STORM URI.

AND WE WERE REALLY INCREDIBLY IMPRESSED WITH HOW GOOD THEY WERE AT FINDING PLACEMENTS FOR FOLKS AS THEY WERE LEAVING SHELTER.

UH, SO WE ARE ABSOLUTELY IN ACTIVE CONVERSATIONS, UH, WITH TRAVIS COUNTY, UH, GENERALLY.

AND IN PARTICULAR AROUND THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT, UH, FUNDS THAT THEY WILL RECEIVE, WHICH ARE QUITE SUBSTANTIAL.

UH, IN THIS CASE, TRAVIS COUNTY WILL RECEIVE, I BELIEVE ABOUT $245 MILLION, UH, IN AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT FUNDS, UH, WHILE THE CITY'S OVERALL DIRECT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE WILL BE AROUND 195 MILLION.

SO ONGOING CONVERSATIONS.

ABSOLUTELY.

UM, I THINK COMMITTED TO WORKING WITH OUR PARTNER THERE.

OKAY.

AND, UH, THIS IS A FINAL QUESTION FROM KATIE ARE OTHER CONCERNS THAT THERE MAY BE NEIGHBORHOODS PUSHED BACK AGAINST THE BRIDGE SHELTER.

LIKE THERE HAS BEEN AT KENDALL WITH SLEEP AND AT THE PLAN SOUTH AUSTIN, SO, AND IN 2019.

AND HOW DO YOU ASSUAGE THOSE CONCERNS? SURE.

UM, I THINK THAT, UH, VERY OFTEN THERE ARE CONCERNS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD ABOUT A FACILITY, UH, BEING THERE.

WE, I THINK WE'LL BE LOOKING AT, UM, HOW WE'VE BEEN OPERATING OUR PRO LODGES AS ONE EXAMPLE, UM, OF, UH, RESPONSIBLE OPERATION OF FACILITIES.

AND IN THIS CASE, I THINK, UH, YOU KNOW, I WANT TO BE CLEAR THAT WE ARE LOOKING PRIMARILY AT EXISTING CITY FACILITIES, SO NOT NECESSARILY A NEW PURCHASE OR, UH, OR A NEW LEASE.

UM, AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE'RE DOING AS PART OF OUR DUE DILIGENCE IS TO REACH OUT TO THOSE, UM, THOSE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY TO TALK TO THEM, TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY UNDERSTAND OUR PLANS AND TO, UM, TO AMELIORATE ANY OF THOSE CONCERNS THAT MIGHT EXIST.

THANKS SO MUCH, THAT'S IT FOR QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND THAT WRAPS UP OUR Q AND A PART.

UH, DANA, DO YOU HAVE ANY CLOSING COMMENTS? UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK I AM JUST REALLY ANXIOUS TO SPEAK AGAIN SOON.

UM, AS WE COME OUT OF THE SUMMIT WITH BOTH SOME EXPLICIT GOALS AT THE COMMUNITY LEVEL.

AND FROM THAT, I THINK, I THINK THEN TO BEGIN TO TALK ABOUT AND SHARE WITH YOU WHAT WE THINK SOME OF THE CONCRETE PLANS THAT THE CITY WILL HAVE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THAT GOAL, AS WELL AS THE GREAT WORK THAT OUR PARTNERS ARE DOING, UH, THE RESOURCES THAT THEY ARE BRINGING TO THE TABLE, WHICH WILL BE SUBSTANTIAL ALONG WITH THOSE OF OUR, UM, OUR PRIVATE SECTOR.

OKAY.

THANKS EVERYBODY.

THAT CONCLUDES OUR MEDIA Q AND A, AND, UM, HAVE A GREAT REST OF YOUR DAY.

TAKE CARE OF US.

THANK YOU.

.

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Speech-to-Text.