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[00:00:04]

OKAY, UH, POINTING.

ARE WE GOOD? YES.

PERFECT.

ALL

[CALL TO ORDER]

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

IT IS 10:01 AM AND I'M CALLING THE MEETING OF THE AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE TO ORDER.

IT IS, UH, 10 0 1 ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7TH, 2024, AND WE ARE HERE IN THE CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS.

UH, WELCOME EVERYONE TO OUR PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE MEETING OF OUR FIRST PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE MEETING OF THE YEAR.

IS THIS OUR FIRST? YEAH, GUESS IT IS.

FIRST FEBRUARY.

LOOK AT THAT.

WELCOME.

AND I'D LIKE TO RECOGNIZE OUR NEWEST MEMBER OF OUR PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE, COUNCIL MEMBER ZO CADRE.

WELCOME.

WE'RE THRILLED THAT YOU HAVE JOINED OUR PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE.

UH, TODAY WE HAVE A RELATIVELY SHORT BUT VERY IMPORTANT AGENDA.

WE WILL HEAR FROM OUR HOMELESS HOMELESSNESS STRATEGY OFFICER DAVID GRAY, AND ALSO DISCUSS SOME BOARD APPOINTMENTS.

WE WILL HAVE TO GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION, UH, TOWARDS THE END OF OUR COMMITTEE.

AND THEN I'D LIKE TO RECOGNIZE THAT WE ARE JOINED HERE BY DOZENS OF COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO WILL BE, UH, SHARING SOME REMARKS WITH US HERE SHORTLY AND WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME THEM.

THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE THIS MORNING.

SO, TO LAY OUT OUR AGENDA FOR TODAY, WE ARE GONNA START WITH PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS.

THEN, UH, WE'LL TAKE A LOOK AT THE MEETING MINUTES FROM OUR LAST COMMITTEE MEETING FOR APPROVAL.

FROM THERE, WE WILL HAVE COMMUNITY MEMBERS COME PRESENT TO US AND JOIN US FOR THE UPDATE FROM THE HSO OFFICE.

THAT'S THE HOMELESSNESS STRATEGY OFFICE AND ENDEAVORS.

THEN WE WILL GO TO MOVE ON TO CENTRAL HEALTH APPOINTMENTS, FOLLOWED BY ITEM NUMBER THREE, WHICH IS A DISCUSSION ON THE SOBERING CENTER BOARD APPOINTMENTS WHERE WE MAY, UH, WELL ACTUALLY WE WILL BE IN AN EXECUTIVE SESSION FOR BOTH ITEMS. AND SO, ANY QUESTIONS ON THE AGENDA? ALRIGHT, SO I GUESS WE WILL START FIRST

[Public Communication: General]

WITH PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS.

AND MAY THE CLERK'S OFFICE PLEASE START US OFF WITH THIS SPEAKER.

EACH SPEAKER WILL HAVE TWO MINUTES FOR THEIR REMARKS.

GOOD MORNING, MADAM CHAIR.

THE FIRST SPEAKER UP IS CHRIS EDELMAN.

SECOND SPEAKER WILL BE ANTONIO ROMERO.

WHEN YOUR NAME IS CALLED, PLEASE COME TO THE MIC OR TO THE PODIUM.

YOU WILL HAVE TWO MINUTES.

CHRIS EDELMAN, ANTONIO ROMERO, THOMAS WOODARD, AND HE HAS GOOD MORNING COMMITTEE.

MY NAME IS THOMAS WOODWARD AND THAT'S ME ON THAT, UH, GRAPHIC RIGHT THERE.

YEAH, IT'LL COME UP.

UH, I'VE BEEN, UM, MY NAME IS THOMAS WOODWARD.

I'VE, UM, YEAH, I'LL GET TO THAT.

.

I'VE BEEN ON, UH, SEVERAL ADVISORY BOARDS.

I'VE, UH, BEEN INVOLVED WITH, UH, AGENCY OVERSIGHTS AND, UM, I WORKED FOR, UH, SIX YEARS WITH THE CHALLENGER NEWSPAPER AND INFORMING THE COMMUNITY OF, UM, HOW TO CORRECT OUR, UH, ISSUES HERE WITH THE HOMELESSNESS.

UH, WE ARE GOVERNMENT BY THE CONSENT OF THE, THE GOVERN.

UM, I HAD SUBMITTED RECENTLY ABOUT, UM, THE COLD WEATHER SHELTER, UH, FOOD MODIFICATIONS FOR THE NUTRITIONAL, UH, DEFICIENCIES, AND I APPRECIATE THOSE, UH, OFFICES THAT HAD RESPONDED TO THAT.

UH, THAT'S ME ON THAT, UH, GRAPHIC UP THERE.

UM, 2022, I TEMPORARILY PUT MY STUFF IN A CITY STORAGE FACILITY AND A CITY EMPLOYEE, UH, HAD TAKEN MY STUFF, WHICH HAD RENDERED ME HOMELESS AND THAT'S WHY I'M HERE.

UM, YEAH, THE DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY COURT, UM, I HAD CON IN REGARDS TO THIS ISSUE RIGHT HERE.

I CONTINUED TO KEEP THEM UPDATED IN REGARDS TO THE THEFT AND THE BEHAVIOR GOING ON THERE.

AND, UH, JEREMY MYERS, WHO IS THE SUPERVISOR THAT RETALIATED AGAINST ME BY INFORMING HIS EMPLOYEES THAT I WAS TELLING HIM ABOUT THEIR THEFT AND THEY WERE COMING AFTER ME.

UM, THAT GOES TO SHOW THE INTEGRITY OF THE DOWNTOWN AUSTIN COMMUNITY COURT.

UM, OKAY.

THE CONTINUUM OF CARE, WHICH ALL THIS OPERATES UNDER, NEEDS TO BE MODIFIED.

I'M GONNA WORK WITH HUD ON MODIFYING THAT CONTINUUM OF CARE, THE CONTINUING THE NEED TO DO SOMETHING.

UM, THESE AGENCIES OVER THE YEARS, I MEAN, I'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN ADVOCACY FOR THE PAST 10 YEARS, AND, UM, THESE AGENCIES SHOULD BE WORKING THEMSELVES OUTTA BUSINESS AND NOT EXPANDING.

UM, THEY, YOU KNOW, WE'VE HAD, UH, 10 YEARS OF STAGNATION IN REGARDS TO, UM, WELL, WE'LL GO BACK TO 2018 WHEN I HAD TO FILE AN INJUNCTION AGAINST THE CITY CONTRACT FOR

[00:05:01]

FRONT STEPS BECAUSE OF, UM, BEHAVIOR THAT WAS GOING ON WITHIN FRONT STEPS.

FRONT STEPS WAS EVENTUALLY MOVED, REMOVED FROM THE, UH, THE, UH, CITY SHELTER IS IN REGARDS TO THAT.

AND THEN WE TOOK THAT LEADER AND THEN WE PUT THEM THAT LEADER IN THE HOMELESS STRATEGY OFFICE.

IS MY TIME OUT? THANK YOU SPEAKER.

NEXT SPEAKER UP IS LOGAN GREEN, THEN FRAN TU SASHA ROSE.

IF YOU'RE HERE, PLEASE COME TO THE MIC.

ALL GOOD.

OKAY.

HI EVERYONE.

I'M LOGAN GREEN AND I'M A SOCIAL WORK INTERN AT CENTRAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.

I FREQUENTLY TALK WITH AND WORK WITH OUR NEIGHBORS EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS, WHO TELL ME ABOUT THE BARRIERS THEY HAVE ACCESSING SHELTER.

AND SO FROM WORKING WITH OUR UNHOUSED NEIGHBORS, UH, I, I HAVE BECOME AWARE OF THE LACK OF COHESION AND COMMUNICATION BETWEEN CITY RUN SHELTERS, INCLUDING THE, THE MARSHALING YARD, FOR EXAMPLE, AND THE MARSHING YARD AND OTHER CITY RUN SHELTER.

THE MARSHING YARD AND OTHER CITY RUN SHELTERS DIFFER AND THEIR INDIVIDUAL ENTRY PROCESS, UM, WHICH CREATES CONFUSION AND A FEELING OF UNCERTAINTY WITH THEIR UNHOUSED NEIGHBORS.

UM, AND SO THIS LACK OF COHESION BETWEEN SHELTERS CREATES A SYSTEM THAT FEELS UNFAIR, WHERE SOME MAY BE ABLE TO ACCESS HOUSING BEFORE OTHERS PURELY BASED ON WHO THEY KNOW.

AND SO I BELIEVE IT WOULD BENEFIT OUR UNHOUSED NEIGHBORS, UM, IF THERE THERE WOULD BE GREATER COLLABORATION, UM, AND COORDINATION AMONG THE CITY'S SHELTERS.

AND I BELIEVE BY ESTABLISHING A STRONG COMMUN COMMUNICATION CHANNELS AND, UH, STANDARDIZED PROTOCOLS, WE COULD GIVE OUR NEIGHBORS ATTEMPTING TO SECURE SHELTER A BETTER CHANCE OF DOING SO AND PREVENT THEM FROM FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS.

AND ALSO, I'M CONCERNED ABOUT THE PLAN ENCLOSURE OF MARSHALING YARD IN AUGUST.

UM, OUR UNHOUSED NEIGHBORS HAVE EXPRESSED TO ME THE BENEFIT OF, UM, THE SHELTER AND OTHER SHELTERS AND PROVIDING A SAFE PLACE TO REST.

AND SO WITH HOW AUSTIN ALREADY HAVING A SHORTAGE OF SHELTERS, UM, I HOPE TO SEE THE MARSHALING YARD STAY OPEN AS A VITAL RESOURCE FOR UNHOUSED NEIGHBORS.

UM, I BELIEVE THAT WORKING TO, UM, CREATE A COORDINATED SYSTEM OF CITY RUN SHELTERS AND KEEPING THE MARSHALING YARD OPEN WILL CREATE A MORE COMPASSIONATE, EFFICIENT, AND EFFECTIVE SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR THE UNHOUSED POPULATION, OUR CITY.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORK IN ADDRESSING HOMELESSNESS AND BEING PART OF THE, THE EFFORT TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE THAT AFFECTS MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY.

NEXT SPEAKER, SASHA ROSE, FRAN TTU, AND JESUS GONZALEZ.

IF YOU'RE HERE, PLEASE MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE MIC.

RICKY LIVA, CARMEN GIANNIS, FRAN TTU, SASHA ROSE, JESUS GONZALEZ.

IF YOUR NAME IS CALLED, PLEASE MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE MIC.

RICKY LIVA.

UH, GOOD DAY.

UM, MY NAME'S NOT REALLY IMPORTANT.

IT'S MY EXPERIENCE.

I'VE BEEN HOMELESS IN MULTIPLE STATES, IN SEVEN PLUS CITIES.

I'VE SEEN MULTIPLE MODELS OF, UH, LIKE HOMELESS SHELTERS.

AND THE BIGGEST PROBLEM THAT I'VE SEEN IS, UH, THERE'S NOT ENOUGH, THERE'S NOT ENOUGH, UH, INFRASTRUCTURE TO LIKE BE THERE WHEN IT HAPPENS.

NOW, IF YOU WANT TO, UH, SOLVE HOMELESSNESS, YOU GOTTA HAVE TO KIND OF DO IT WITH INFRASTRUCTURE.

WE DON'T HAVE THE SQUARE FOOTAGE AVAILABLE, UH, TO SERVE OUR, OUR UNHOUSED, UH, NEIGHBORS.

AND THE QUALITY OF LIFE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED 'CAUSE UH, IT'S ALSO A TURNOFF.

YOU KNOW, A LOT OF INDIVIDUALS LIKE MYSELF HAVE BEEN THROUGH THE PRISON SYSTEMS AND ALSO THE CPS SYSTEMS, AND WE HAVE A LOT OF, UH, PTSD AND TRAUMA FROM OUR EXPERIENCES.

AND I, MYSELF, INTENTIONALLY DON'T USE SHELTERS THAT REMIND ME OF, UH, THE PRISON, UH, FACILITIES OR, UH, MY FOSTER HOME WHEN I STAYED AT THE HAVEN FOR HOPE, UH, SHELTER DOWN IN, UH, SAN ANTONIO.

ONE THING I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT IT WAS, UH, THE POLICE PRESENCE.

THERE WERE A HIGH NUMBER OF, UH, POLICE PRESENCE AND, AND IT JUST MADE ME VERY UNCOMFORTABLE.

SO I WOULD WAIT TILL THE OVERFLOW SHELTER OPENED UP AT 10 O'CLOCK AND USE THAT THEIR FACILITIES WHERE THEY DIDN'T HAVE THE SAME AMOUNT OF POLICE PRESENCE.

NOW, UH, A LOT OF OUR, UH, ISSUES ON THE STREETS HAS TO DO WITH, UH, LIKE OUR DIET, MAN, WE DON'T GET THE BEST DIET AND OUR BODIES ARE KIND OF PAYING FOR IT,

[00:10:01]

MAN.

LIKE, WE DON'T HAVE THAT IT.

ALRIGHT, THANK YOU.

NEXT SPEAKER, NEXT SPEAKER.

CARMEN GIANNIS KEA PRINCE LISA RAINES.

GOOD MORNING COUNCIL MEMBERS.

I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE ON THIS COMMITTEE AND YOUR ATTENTION TO THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE BECAUSE I KNOW YOU ALL CARE GREATLY ABOUT THESE COMMUNITIES.

UM, YOU ARE HEARING FROM A LOT OF DIRECTLY IMPACTED FOLKS, AND I ENCOURAGE YOU TO TAKE THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS REALLY SERIOUSLY.

UH, AND TO PAUSE IN THIS INVESTMENT OF $2 MILLION TO MCKINSEY, WHICH I KNOW, YOU KNOW, COULD DOUBLE THE RENTAL ASSISTANCE THAT ELWIN COULD IMMEDIATELY SUPPORT SOME PEOPLE FROM, UH, BEING OUT ON THE STREET RIGHT NOW COULD HELP GET PEOPLE OFF THE STREET RIGHT NOW.

AND A LOT OF THESE FOLKS KNOW EXACTLY HOW TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

UM, YOU KNOW HOW IT IS IN OUR COMMUNITIES.

WHEN YOU HIRE AN EXPENSIVE CONSULTANT AND THEY COME, WHO DO THEY COME TO? THEY COME TO OUR PEOPLE AND THEY ASK US FOR EVERYTHING WE KNOW SO THEY CAN PUT IN A REPORT FOR YOU.

THIS PARTICULAR COMPANY HAS NO TRUST.

WHY? BECAUSE THOSE OF US WHO HAVE BEEN HURT BY THE PRIVATIZED IMMIGRATION INCARCERATION SYSTEM, THOSE OF US WHO HAVE, UH, LOST PEOPLE TO THE FENTANYL CRISIS, THOSE OF US WHO HAVE WATCHED OUR NEIGHBORS EVICTED FROM APARTMENTS THAT ARE DEMOLISHED TO BUILD EXPENSIVE DENT UNITS, THIS HAPPENED IN YOUR DISTRICT AT IBER HEART.

THEY COULDN'T EVEN GET THAT POSTPONEMENT.

BUT I MET WITH THOSE TENANTS AND THEY ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE ENDING UP ON THE STREETS BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE ANOTHER PLACE TO GO.

SO I URGE YOU ALL TO LOOK AT THIS COMPANY AND ITS HISTORY OF GETTING INVOLVED IN CREATING PROBLEMS THAT IT THEN COMES IN TO GET BIG CONTRACTS TO ASSESS HOW TO SOLVE, BECAUSE THAT IS A TRACK RECORD WITH MCKINSEY ON THOSE THREE ISSUES.

I SAY THAT AS A PERSON WHO HAS WATCHED PEOPLE SUFFER AT THE HANDS OF THE PRIVATE DETENTION SYSTEM OF IMMIGRANTS, I SAY THAT AS SOMEBODY WHO LOST MY HOMIE FROM THE TWO THREE THAT I WENT TO PROM WITH AN LBJ TO A FENTANYL OVERDOSE WHO LOST, WHOSE FAMILY LOST HIS LITTLE BROTHER FIVE YEARS LATER IN NOVEMBER.

AND I SAY THAT TO YOU AS SOMEBODY WHO HAS WATCHED TOO MANY PEOPLE RENTING IN AUSTIN FOR YEARS.

THOSE FOLKS IN DISTRICT TWO, THEY WENT TO PALM SCHOOL.

THEY'RE OUR ELDERS.

THANK YOU.

SO PLEASE RECONSIDER THIS CONTRACT.

YOU CAN HELP PEOPLE RIGHT AWAY WITH THE MONEY.

AND I REMIND SPEAKERS, IF YOU WOULD PLEASE ANNOUNCE YOUR NAME AS YOUR, AS YOU BEGIN SPEAKING, PLEASE ANNOUNCE YOURSELF.

FRAN TTU AT DISTRICT NINE OUTREACH LIAISON AUSTIN MUTUAL AID.

I THANK THE COMMITTEE FOR THIS TIME TODAY AND FOR A CHANCE FOR US TO ALL COME TOGETHER AND SEEK SOLUTIONS.

I ECHO MY FRIENDS, UH, CONCERNS ABOUT MCKINSEY, AND I'M GONNA BE ECHOING MANY OF THE, UM, CONCERNS THAT WE HAVE ABOUT MARSHALL YARD.

I UNDERSTAND IT, UH, SERVES A PURPOSE.

UH, I RUN POP-UP SHELTERS AND HELP RUN A SHELTER FOR THREE WEEKS DURING YURI.

AND FROM THAT MODEL, I HAVE BEEN COMING TO COUNCIL FOR A COUPLE YEARS NOW SAYING, PLEASE CONSIDER THE SMALLER SERVICE PROVIDERS.

AND WHAT WE SUGGEST ARE SMALLER PERSON, PERSON ORIENTED, UH, SHELTERS, EMERGENCY SHELTERS, UM, HALFWAY HOMES.

WE NEED TO SERVE OUR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS IMMEDIATELY UPON NEED, WHICH IS NOT HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.

AND ALSO RESPITE CARE.

PEOPLE ARE DYING BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOWHERE TO GO, UM, FROM SURGERY.

AND IT'S HEARTBREAKING.

AND THERE ARE, UH, I CAN PROMISE YOU, IF YOU GAVE US THE $9 MILLION, WE WOULD SET UP SMALL SHELTERS IN EVERY SECTOR OF AUSTIN.

PEOPLE WOULD SHOW UP TO HELP US.

UH, I'M A CHEF.

I HAVE FED 500 PEOPLE AT A TIME.

IT'S REALLY QUITE EASY WITH THE DEDICATED STAFF TO MAKE AMAZING MEALS.

UH, AUSTIN MUTUAL AID ALONE HAS 23 COOKS AT A VOLUNTEER STEP FORWARD, AND WE DELIVER MEALS.

UH, SECONDLY, I WANNA, UH, DISCUSS THE SWEEPS AND HOW MAY WE START TO, UH, WORK WITH A PD INSTEAD OF CROSS PURPOSES.

I MYSELF FEEL THREATENED WHEN I'M OUT IN THE STREETS AND I'M STOPPING AND I'M TALKING TO PEOPLE.

A PD COMES UP AND TALKS TO ME, AND THE NEXT THING I KNOW, THE AREA WHERE I WAS IS CORDONED OFF.

NO, UH, OFFER OF ASSISTANCE, JUST I FEEL THREATENED.

UM, CONSTANTLY OUR SURVIVAL GEAR IS BEING THROWN INTO THE, UM, YOU KNOW, THE, THE, WHATEVER THEY CALL IT, , THEY'RE BEING THROWN AWAY.

SO, UH, LET'S FIND A WAY TO KEEP A BD FROM BEING ROGUE.

I'D LIKE TO SAY THAT THIS DOES NOT, UH, REFER TO OUR CONSTABLES WHO PEOPLE ON THE STREET HAVE BEEN TELLING ME THEY FEEL PROTECTED BY.

SO, HATS OFF TO ANY CONSTABLE THAT WANTS TO STEP UP AND ADVOCATE FOR THE UNHOUSED.

UH, BUT PLEASE, LET'S HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH A PD TO, TO STOP THIS.

UM, THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

NEXT SPEAKER.

I'M SASHA ROSE AUSTIN, ALSO WITH AUSTIN MUTUAL AID.

UM, I WANNA TALK ABOUT A FEW THINGS.

ONE, THE MCKINZIE STUDY IS INCREDIBLY CONCERNING TO ME.

THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY.

UM, WE'VE HAD A LOT OF STUDIES DONE, THEY'RE DONE NATIONWIDE.

UM, THE HOMELESSNESS IS THE REASON FOR HOMELESSNESS IS PRETTY EASY TO SEE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU JUST GO JUMP IN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP.

UM, ACCESS TO RENT ASSISTANCE

[00:15:01]

IS INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT TO ACCESS.

BU IS OVERWHELMED.

UM, THEY'RE NOT GETTING PEOPLE, PEOPLE ARE NOT GETTING, UH, REPLIES THAT LOTTERY SYSTEM THAT IS CURRENTLY USING IS NOT A TRUE EQUITABLE PRIORITIZATION METHOD.

AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I'VE SEEN SYSTEM WIDE.

WE DO NOT HAVE AN EQUITABLE PRIORITIZATION METHOD FOR ACCESS TO SHELTER, FOR ACCESS TO CARE.

LIKE FRAN SAID, OUR RESPITE CARE, OUR, UM, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS ARE ALL BEING OVERLOOKED.

IT'S BASICALLY AN ABLEIST SYSTEM WHERE IF YOU, UH, YOU KNOW, EITHER YOU'RE IN A GEOGRAPHICAL AREA FOR THE HEAL INITIATIVE OR YOU'RE ABLE TO PRESENT YOURSELF IN PERSON, THAT'S NOT AN EQUITABLE SYSTEM, Y'ALL.

WE ARE NOT PRIORITIZING THE RIGHT PEOPLE FOR A SHELTER AND WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH SHELTER.

AND THE SWEEPS HAVE BEEN INCREDIBLY HARMFUL.

JUST THIS LAST WEEK, WE HAD SOMEBODY, WE HAD AN AREA THAT, IT WAS AN ESTABLISHED CAMP.

THERE WERE PEOPLE THAT WERE DUMPING THINGS INTO THAT LOCATION, TIRES EVERYWHERE.

A PD SHOWED UP.

UM, THE DAY BEFORE, THEY WERE VERY AGGRESSIVE.

THEY CAME IN AND THEY, ALL THEY DID WAS DEMOLISH THE TRAILER THAT WAS THERE.

THEY DIDN'T PICK UP ANY OF THE TRASH.

THEY DEMOLISHED IT.

IT'S ACTUALLY GIVING AN ABILITY FOR CRUEL AND DEHUMANIZING.

AND WE ARE WORKING OUR BUTTS OFF.

WE, UH, HELP SUPPORT 1600 PEOPLE THIS LAST FREEZE.

SO THESE COLD WEATHER SHELTERS, THIS NEEDS TO BE A MORE CITYWIDE, WE CAN RECOGNIZE THAT THE ONE EMBARKATION CENTER IS NOT EFFECTIVE.

AND, UM, REQUIRING PEOPLE TO NAVIGATE THE CITY TO GET TO THAT SPACE, TO HAVE ACCESS TO WHAT IS BASIC NEEDS OF SHELTERING IN THESE EXTREME WEATHERS IS INCREDIBLY INEQUITABLE AND INEFFICIENT.

IT'S INEFFICIENT.

Y'ALL, Y'ALL, YOU, Y'ALL RELY UPON US TO HELP YOU GET THESE PEOPLE INTO SHELTERS.

AND THEN THANK YOU.

SPEAKER, YOUR TIME IS UP.

THANK YOU AGAIN.

I'LL CALL CAR CARMEN GIANNIS KEA, PRINCE LISA RAMS, AND JJ RAMIREZ.

IF YOU ARE HERE, PLEASE COME TO THE MIC.

HI, GOOD MORNING.

I'M J RAMIREZ.

I'M AN ORGANIZER AT LOCAL TEXAS, UH, COMMUNITY MEMBERS.

WE HAVE BEEN DOING OUTREACH FOR MONTHS, TALKING TO DOZENS OF RESIDENTS OF THE MARCHING YARD.

AND I'VE BEEN HEARING, UH, BUT WE ARE HERE TODAY SPEAKING IN PUBLIC COMMUNICATION BECAUSE AGAIN, PEOPLE WHO ARE DIRECTLY IMPACTED OR NOT BEING INVITED TO, TO TESTIFY ON THINGS THAT THEY ARE EXPERTS IN, UH, WE HAVE TO COME ON OUR OWN.

RIGHT? UH, AND I'LL ALSO REMIND THE COMMITTEE THAT WE WARNED THE CITY THAT A RUSH TEMPORARY SHELTER PLANT AT THE COST OF $9 MILLION WOULD HAVE PROBLEMS. AND, UM, AND I'LL LET YOU KNOW THAT WE HAVE MEMBERS AND LEADERS HERE WHO ARE GONNA BE GIVING IN GREATER DETAIL.

SOME OF THE ISSUES HAVE BEEN BROUGHT UP AND, UH, REALLY ENCOURAGE YOU GUYS TO, TO LISTEN TO THEM.

BUT THIS ISN'T THE FIRST TIME WE'VE BEEN SPEAKING, RIGHT? OUR LEADERS MET WITH DAVID GRAY BANK, HO OFFICE, JUST RECENTLY TO TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE CONCERNS THEY BROUGHT UP.

AND YES, SOME THINGS HAVE BEEN DONE, BUT THOSE THINGS SHOULD HAVE BEEN HANDLED.

THINGS LIKE, YOU KNOW, ENOUGH SHOWERS, GOOD FOOD SHOULD HAVE BEEN HANDLED IN THE PLANNING PROCESS, NOT NOW WHILE THERE'S CURRENTLY STANDING THERE.

SO, UH, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO, TO READ, TO RECONSIDER HOW YOU'RE GETTING YOUR INFORMATION, RIGHT.

AND SINCE AND OFTEN, AND ONE OF THE MAJOR THINGS THAT WE'RE NOT HEARING, UH, BEING TALKED ABOUT OF THE ISSUES IS THE DISCHARGES HAPPENING AT NIGHT, RIGHT? PEOPLE ARE GETTING KICKED OUT AT NIGHT.

THEY'RE NOT ACCESS TO OTHER, THE OTHER FACILITIES THAT ARE HERE IN THE CITY.

THINGS LIKE VIOLENT STORES AND PEOPLE STORE THEIR EQUIPMENTS THAT YOU'LL BE ABLE TO SURVIVE OUTSIDE.

THAT INSIGHT COMES FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE DIRECTLY IMPACTED AND WHY THIS COMMITTEE AND ALL OTHER SERVICE PROVIDERS SHOULD BE LISTENING TO PEOPLE NOT TOXIC AMONGST YOURSELVES ON HOW YOU THINK THE CITY SHOULD, SHOULD, UH, HELP FIX THE PROBLEM.

AND I ALSO SAY THAT ON THIS, ON THIS, UH, MCKINSEY THING, RIGHT? WHAT WE'RE HEARING IS THAT THERE'S AN OVERALL LACK OF CARE AND COMPASSION IN OUR RESPONSE SYSTEM.

AND WITH FUNDING BEING VERY OFTEN THE REASON THAT WE DO NOT HAVE AN ADEQUATE PROGRAM, SPENDING $2 MILLION ON, UH, UH, UH, SPENDING $2 MILLION ON AN INSTITUTE THAT HAS HELD COMPANIES LIKE PURDUE PHARMA, LIKE EXPAND THE OPIOID CRISIS, AIN'T JUST, AIN'T RIGHT.

OUR PEOPLE KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING.

IF YOU NEED, IF YOU NEED CONSULT, THANK YOU, SPEAKER.

YOUR TIME IS UP.

THEY'RE RIGHT HERE TODAY.

THEY KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING.

THANK YOU.

SPEAKER SUSIE BEASON, VICTORIA MARSHALL, SAM DONG, GOOD MORNING.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS.

MY NAME IS SUSIE BEESON.

THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO TESTIFY.

I WAS UNHOUSED ON THE STREETS FOR SEVEN MONTHS IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN, THEN I GOT INTO THE MARSHALING YARD FOUR MONTHS AGO.

I'M VERY GRATEFUL TO BE THERE AND I APPRECIATE ALL THE WORK YOU'VE DONE SO FAR.

THE MARCHING YARD HAS BEEN, UM, THEY'VE HAD A FEW PROBLEMS WITH THE FOOD, MOST OF ALL THERE.

IT HAS SERVED COLD EVERY DAY, AND IT'S THE SAME OPTIONS EVERY DAY.

[00:20:01]

CULVER'S, DOMINOES, DENNY'S, TACO CABANA, CHURCHES, CHICKEN, CHICKEN.

OVER AND OVER THIS PAST WEEK WE HAD THE CULVER'S BURGERS, UM, OVER AGAIN, FIVE TIMES IN A ROW EXCEPT FOR THE PANCAKES.

BUT, UM, WE DID, I DID SPEAK WITH DAVID GRAY AND WE GOT FRESH FRUIT AND SOME SNACKS, WHICH WAS VERY APPRECIATED.

SOMETIMES SANDWICHES IN BETWEEN THE MEALS.

AND FINALLY HE GOT US THE MICROWAVES LAST WEEK THEY WERE INSTALLED.

WE REALLY APPRECIATE THAT BECAUSE WE CAN MAKE OUR OWN SOUPS AND STUFF, ESPECIALLY NOW THERE'S A LOT OF COLD FLUS GOING AROUND BECAUSE THEY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE THERMOSTAT.

THEY CAN'T TURN THE HEAT DOWN.

SO IT'S INCUBATING GERMS. THERE IS NO VENTILATION EXCEPT THIS PAST WEEK THEY DID OPEN THE BAY DOORS TO GET FRESH AIR IN, BUT THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE JUST PASSING THE GERMS BACK AND FORTH.

I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY THEY CAN'T SEPARATE THE BEDS WHEN THEY HAVE MORE THAN HALF OF THE EMPTY WAREHOUSE KEEPING PEOPLE AWAY FROM, LIKE DURING COVID WE HAVE DISTANCE, BASIC PUBLIC HEALTH, AND NOW WE'RE RIGHT ON TOP OF EACH OTHER.

LIKE RIGHT NEXT, JUST ENOUGH ROOM TO WALK BETWEEN THE BEDS.

THAT'S IT.

A LITTLE BIT OF SPACE IN BETWEEN WOULD HELP A LOT AND, AND KEEPING THINGS CLEANER AND SPREADING THE GERMS. UM, LASTLY, I, I'D LIKE TO LET YOU KNOW THAT WE HAVE NOWHERE TO WASH OUR DISHES.

WE HAVE TO USE THE JANITOR CLOSET, WHICH IS JUST A SINK ON THE FLOOR WITH A MOP BUCKET.

AND THEY USE THAT HOSE TO THANK YOU.

SPEAKER, YOUR TIME HAS EXPIRED.

M THE FLOOR, YOU KNOW, THAT GOES RIGHT DIRECTLY IN THE MOP BUCKET.

THANK YOU, SPEAKER.

YOUR TIME HAS EXPIRED.

OKAY.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

BYE-BYE.

VICTORIA MARSHALL, SAM DEW.

LES ANTONELLI.

GOOD MORNING.

MY NAME IS VICTORIA MARSHALL.

I AM A MEMBER OF VOCA, TEXAS.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME TODAY.

I'VE BEEN UNHOUSED FOR TWO YEARS AND I'VE BEEN STAYING AT THE MARCHING YARD FOR SIX MONTHS.

LIVING ON THE STREET HAVE BEEN TERRIFYING.

UNSAFE FOR ME NOT BEING ABLE TO LAY MY HEAD DOWN TO GET PROPER REST WITHOUT DANGER.

COMING TO ME ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR OTHER STRANGERS TO TRY TO PREY ON ME.

THIS ONLY BROUGHT ON MORE ANXIETY, DEPRESSION ALONG WITH O OTHER CHRONIC DISABILITIES I HAVE PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY.

I AM NOW LIVING AT THE MARCHING YARD FOR AN UNKNOWN TI TIME TEMPORARILY.

I'VE BEEN AFFECTED BY UNSANITARY CONDITIONS, MAKING ME SICKLY OVER AND OVER THE LIVING AREA, NOT BEING MOPPED FURNITURE, COUCHES, TABLES AND BATHROOMS GOING.

UNSANITIZED EMPLOYEES DOING UNSANITARY ACTS, WIPING TOYS DOWN, USING SAME TOWEL TO WIPE DOWN THE BATHROOM, SINKS AND FAUCETS USING THE SAME MOP WATER THEY USE FOR BATHROOM FLOORS TO GIVE TO, TO US WHO ARE LIVING THERE, TO THE, UH, TO MOP OUR AREAS.

THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE MONITORING STAFFS ARE NOT STAYING IN THEIR PROPER PLACE TO WATCH OVER US TO MAKE SURE WE AND OUR BELONGINGS ARE SAFE AS THINGS HAVE BEEN STOLEN.

WATER JUGS BEING FILLED BY THE, FROM THE JANITOR ROOM, CARRIED BY THE PEOPLE LIVING THERE TO MAKE COFFEE.

ALL OF THIS IS IN DANGER TO MY HEALTH.

CHRONIC ILLNESSES.

IT CAN ALSO CAUSE MY LUPUS TO GET WORSE.

I COULD EVEN BE HOSPITALIZED.

THIS IS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED.

WHEN I CAME TO STAY AT MARTON YARD, I CAME TO GET HOUSED WITH PERMANENT HOUSING BECAUSE OF MY DISABILITY AND LIMITED INCOME.

THANK YOU.

SPEAKER, YOUR TIME HAS EXPIRED.

SAM DE WONG LES ANTON TIL AUNT LILY LES AND TILLY GLORIA CHOPPA.

YOUR NAME IS CALLED.

PLEASE MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE MIC.

LEMME KNOW WHEN TO START.

OKAY.

GOOD MORNING, CITY COUNCIL.

MY NAME IS LUSTER AND TILLY.

I AM A MEMBER OF VOCAL TAXES.

I'VE BEEN UNHOUSED FOR SIX MONTHS AND I'VE BEEN STAYING AT THE MARSHING YARD FOR TWO MONTHS.

DURING MY TIME OF BEING IN HOUSED IN AUSTIN, IT WAS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO FIND A PUBLIC SHOWER AND PUBLIC BATHROOMS. AND I THOUGHT THAT BEING IN THE MARSH MARSHING YARD, THAT THIS ACTUALLY, THIS, THIS DRESS OF MINE WOULD BE RELIEVED.

BUT LET ME TELL YOU, THAT WAS NOT THE CASE.

AT THE MARSHING YARD FOR 200 MEN, WE SHARE FOUR SHOWERS.

NOT ONLY ARE THE SHOWERS FULL OF BUILDUP, THE SHOWER CURTAINS THAT WERE ONCE WHITE ARE NOW BROWN.

DUE TO LACK OF CLEANLINESS BY ENDEAVORS IN ITS STAFF.

SUBJECT TO THE LACK OF SANITATION, I PERSONALLY CONTRACTED CELLULITIS.

IT'S A SEVERE, UH, BACTERIAL INFECTION ON THE SKIN, WHICH, UM, RESULTED IN

[00:25:01]

MULTIPLE LESIONS, PAINFUL LESIONS ON MY LEFT LEG.

SO I DID GO TO THE DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY AFTER MY DOCTOR VISIT.

THE CONDITIONS OF THE SHOWERS HAD NOT CHANGED.

ALTHOUGH VOCAL TEXAS HAD RAISED CONCERNS TO HSO, I TOOK IT UPON MYSELF PERSONALLY TO CLEAN A SHOWER EACH TIME BEFORE I USED IT.

AND HAVING SOMEONE HOMELESS, STAYING IN A SHELTER, NEEDING TO BUY THEIR OWN CLEANING SUPPLIES, I FEEL THAT THAT JUST ISN'T RIGHT.

UH, SEEING AS HOW THEY WERE QUITE STAFFED.

FORTUNATELY FOR MYSELF, I HAVE FOUND HOUSING, BUT THERE ARE STILL HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE LIVING IN THESE CONDITIONS.

OKAY, I WANT YOU GUYS TO CONSIDER THAT.

IF THE CITY WANTS TO DO SOMETHING RIGHT, YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO PEOPLE LIKE ME IN THE RESIDENTS AND MARSHING YARD.

'CAUSE WE KNOW WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE SHELTERS A CARING, SAFE, AND COMPASSIONATE PLACE.

THANK YOU.

GOOD MORNING EVERYONE.

UH, GLORIA CHOPPA.

I'VE BEEN AT THE MARCHAL YARD FOR FIVE WEEKS TODAY.

AND, UH, THE STAFF IS NOT VERY NICE.

THEY DISCRIMINATE AND THEY HAVE THEIR FAVORITES.

AND AT NIGHTTIME YOU CAN'T EVEN SLEEP BECAUSE THEY'RE TOO BUSY FIGHTING.

THE SECURITY GUARDS ARE TOO BUSY ON THEIR CELL PHONES.

SO THERE'S A LOT OF VIOLENCE, DRUGS COMING IN.

BACTERIA'S TERRIBLE.

NOBODY CARES.

IN ORDER TO GET ATTENTION, YOU HAVE TO HAVE AN AFFAIR WITH A SECURITY GUARD.

IT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED 'CAUSE THAT'S NOT RIGHT.

I DON'T WANNA DIE THERE.

I GOT LIVER CANCER AND I DON'T WANNA DIE THERE.

AND IT WOULD BE NICE IF SOMEBODY WOULD CARE ABOUT HOW WE LIVE.

THANK YOU.

GOD BLESS.

SAM DE WONG.

IF YOU ARE HERE, BARRY JONES, VERNON GERMAN, KATHY MITCHELL.

HELLO CITY COUNCIL.

UH, THANKS FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY TO TESTIFY.

MY NAME IS BARRY JONES AND I'VE BEEN HOMELESS FOR NINE YEARS.

I STAYED AT THE MARSHALLING YARD FOR THREE MONTHS, EXCUSE ME.

UM, UH, TWO MINUTES REALLY ISN'T ADEQUATE TO DESCRIBE THE MARSHALLING YARD, BUT I'LL GIVE IT MY BEST SHOT.

UH, I PARTICULARLY WANTED TO TALK ABOUT ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE AND THE EJECTION POLICIES.

UH, SO I HAVE MAJOR DEPRESSION.

I TAKE SIX MEDICATIONS FOR THAT CONDITION.

UH, MY MEDICATIONS TAKE SIX WEEKS BEFORE THEY BEGIN TO WORK.

AND ABOUT THAT TIME TO STOP, UH, AT THE MARSHALING YARD.

I WAS DENIED, UH, UH, TRIPS TO THE PROMISED TRIPS TO THE, THE MY MEDICAL DOCTORS, MY MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS.

I WAS ALSO DENIED ACCESS TO MY MEDICATIONS.

UH, MY MEDICATIONS WERE STOLEN OUTTA MY BACKPACK.

I TOLD THE, THE MANAGER OF THE SHELTER, HE SAID HE WOULD CHECK THE SECURITY TAPES.

THERE WERE SECURITY CAMERAS ALL OVER THAT PLACE.

UH, HE NEVER GOT BACK TO ME ABOUT THAT.

UM, I, I WAS, UH, TOLD THAT I WOULD GET A, COULD GET A REPLACEMENT.

MEDICATIONS.

UH, I WAS KEPT STRUNG ALONG WITH THAT LINE FOR WEEKS.

UH, I WAS OFF MY MEDS FOR ABOUT FOUR WEEKS, AND THEN I HAD, I, I TOLD MY, MY CASEWORKER, I'M GONNA BE HAVING PROBLEMS IF I DON'T GET MY MEDICATION SOON.

I TOLD HIM THAT EARLY IN THE SITUATION.

AFTER FOUR WEEKS, I HAD A, A INCIDENT WITH A STAFF WORKER WHERE WE GOT IN AN ARGUMENT.

I THREW SOME FOOD ON THE FLOOR, LOST MY TEMPER, UM, AND A PD WAS CALLED, UH, BEFORE A PD GOT THERE.

SECURITY HANDCUFFED ME AND DRAGGED ME ACROSS THE FLOOR BY THE HANDCUFFS.

I WAS LEFT LYING IN THE FLOOR UNTIL A PD ARRIVED.

UH, WHEN A PD ARRIVED, UH, I, THEY SAID THAT I WAS GOING TO BE CHARGED WITH ASSAULT FOR PUSHING THE STAFF MEMBER.

I TOLD 'EM TO LOOK AT THE, UH, SECURITY CAMERAS BECAUSE EVERYTHING WAS ON THE SECURITY CAMERAS.

THANK YOU.

SPEAKER.

YOUR TIME HAS EXPIRED.

AU AUSTIN NEEDS TO TAKE MORE.

THANK YOU.

SPEAKER YOUR TIME.

SHELTER.

THEY CAN'T JUST LET EVERYTHING SHUT EVERYTHING OFF.

THE POLICE CONTRACTORS.

VERNON JARMAN COMPASSION AT THESE SHELTERS.

KATHY MITCHELL, PTA TANI.

MY NAME IS VERNON JARMAN AND I'M A LEAD OF BOCO, TEXAS.

THANK Y'ALL FOR LETTING ME THANK Y'ALL FOR LETTING ME SPEAK TODAY.

I WAS UNHOUSED FOR A YEAR AND HALF TO TWO YEARS.

I FIRST GOT HOUSING WITH A RAPID REHOUSING VOUCHER.

I WASN'T ABLE TO WORK BECAUSE OF MY DISABILITY.

SO MY CASE MANAGER HELPED ME GET PERMANENT HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER.

AND NOW I HAVE A PLACE TO LIVE PERMANENTLY.

WHAT CASE MANAGER?

[00:30:01]

NO ONE GET HOUSES.

I WANT TO SPEAK TODAY AGAINST THE 2 MILLION MCKENZIE STUDY AND I URGE YOU TO SPEND THESE DOLLARS ON CASE MANAGERS INSTEAD.

BECAUSE IF YOU WANT TO GET PEOPLE HOUSING, YOU NEED CASE MANAGERS, NOT MCKENZIE.

THANK YOU.

HAVE A BLESSED DAY.

GOOD MORNING COMMITTEE MEMBERS.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.

UM, MY NAME IS PAULETTE SULTANI.

I'M THE CO-DIRECTOR OF A GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATION CALLED VOCAL TEXAS.

I WANNA START BY SAYING, UM, WE'VE BEEN RAISING CONCERNS ABOUT THE MARSHALING GUARD AND MOST OF THE RESPONSES THAT WE'VE RECEIVED HAVE BEEN AROUND THE TEMPORARY NATURE OF THE MARSHALING GUARD.

SO I WANNA START BY SAYING, NO, IT IS NOT OKAY TO MAKE EXCUSES BECAUSE THIS IS A SO-CALLED TEMPORARY SHELTER.

NO BETTER THAN NOTHING IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR PEOPLE IN THIS CITY WHO ARE UNHOUSED.

THE DOCUMENTS THAT ARE BEING PASSED OUT TO YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO RE HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO RESIDENTS OF THE MARSHALING YARD WHEN THEY ENTER THE SHELTER.

I'VE HIGHLIGHTED ONE SPECIFIC AREA ON THE FRONT PAGE ABOUT THE APPEALS, UH, PROCESS AROUND DISCHARGES, WHICH SOME PEOPLE, SOME OF THE PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY MENTIONED.

SO YOU'LL SEE, IT MENTIONS, UM, MEMBERS CAN APPEAL THEIR DISCHARGE BY EMAILING THEIR APPEAL TOES@ENDEAVORS.ORG.

THEIR SHELTER MANAGER WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR DELIVERING THE APPEALS TO ENDEAVORS LEADERSHIP.

WHENEVER THAT NEXT MEETING HAPPENS WITH ENDEAVORS LEADERSHIP, THEN THE PERSON WILL FIND OUT WITHIN 24 HOURS WHAT THE OUTCOME OF IT IS.

I WANNA ASK THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE HERE, HOW MANY CLIENTS DO YOU HONESTLY THINK HAVE BEEN ABLE TO UTILIZE THIS APPEALS PROCESS SUCCESSFULLY TO GET BACK INTO THE SHELTER? THE SECOND PRINTOUT IS A PHOTOGRAPH OF A LIST OF RULES POSTED ON THE SHELTER.

THESE RULES ARE OPEN-ENDED.

THEY STATE THAT YOU CAN BE DISCHARGED FROM THE SHELTER FOR 24 HOURS, 48 HOURS, OR EVEN PERMANENTLY.

THEY'RE OPEN-ENDED AND REALLY SUBJECTIVE TO WHAT WE'VE LEARNED IS THEY'RE SUBJECTIVE TO WHATEVER THE STAFF THINK.

AND SO I GIVE THESE TO YOU TODAY BECAUSE THIS IS A MASSIVE ISSUE THAT WE'VE BEEN HEARING OVER AND OVER AGAIN, PEOPLE BEING DISCHARGED.

WE DON'T KNOW AT WHAT TIME THESE ARE HAPPENING.

WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THE POLICY IS, AND THERE'S REALLY NO OVERSIGHT.

WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE CITY HAS NO DISCHARGE POLICY FOR CITIES, FOR SHELTERS ACROSS THE CITY.

AND SO, UM, ALONG WITH THAT, I THINK AT A VERY MINIMUM, WE NEED TO BE ASKING FOR, FOR DATA, UM, TO UNDERSTAND HOW MANY JUDGES ARE HAPPENING ACROSS THE CITY, HOW MANY HOUSES.

THANK YOU, SPEAKER, IF, IF YOU, IF YOU CAN FINISH YOUR SENTENCE PLEASE.

OKAY.

UM, THERE IS A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING, AND IF WE'RE GONNA HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE MARSHALING YARD, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND HOW MANY DISCHARGES ARE HAPPENING WHEN THEY'RE HAPPENING, WHO ARE THEY HAPPENING TO? ARE HOUSING PLACEMENTS HAPPENING AS OFTEN? WE BELIEVE THAT DISCHARGES ARE FAR OUTPACING THE NUMBER OF HOUSING PLACEMENTS THAT ARE HAPPENING THROUGH THE DIS THROUGH THE MARSHALING YARD.

UM, THERE'S, THERE'S SO MANY OTHER QUESTIONS THAT WE HAVE AROUND FOOD QUALITY, QUALITY, AND UNDERSTANDING WHETHER THERE'S A NEW VENDOR THAT'S BEING VETTED SO THAT PEOPLE CAN ACTUALLY EAT HEALTHY FOOD IF THEY'RE STAYING AT THIS SHELTER.

HOW MANY A DA BATHROOMS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE? WE'VE HEARD OVER AND OVER AGAIN THAT THE ACCOMMODATIONS THAT THE SHELTER ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE DISABILITIES.

WE UNDERSTAND THERE'S A GRIEVANCE BOX FOR PEOPLE TO FILE GRIEVANCES IF THEY HAVE SUGGESTIONS OR CONCERNS.

WHO'S READING THOSE? WHAT'S HAPPENING TO THOSE GRIEVANCES? WE CAN'T JUST ALLOW HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE TO BE PUT IN A WAREHOUSE AND NOT ASK THESE QUESTIONS.

AND IF WE'RE GONNA HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT THIS TODAY, THOSE ARE THE EXPECTATIONS THAT WE HAVE AS A COMMUNITY IS TO HAVE THAT INFORMATION HERE TODAY, PRESENT FOR THIS COMMITTEE, AND FOR THE COMMUNITY AND THE PUBLIC TO HEAR IT.

THANK YOU.

HI, MY NAME IS KATHY MITCHELL.

I'M SO GLAD TO SEE YOU ALL HERE TODAY.

THIS IS A REALLY GREAT COMMITTEE.

UM, I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO HEAR EVERYTHING YOU'RE HEARING TODAY.

I THINK THERE'S CERTAINLY A NEED FOR THE CITY TO INVESTIGATE ITS OWN SERVICES AND MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE MEETING BASIC HUMAN NEEDS.

HOWEVER, I AM HERE TODAY TO REMIND YOU THAT MCKINSEY IS NOT A GROUP THAT ANYONE TRUSTS TO DO THAT KIND OF WORK IN THIS COMMUNITY.

I WOULD SUGGEST THAT OUR COUNTY HAS PUT US ON A DIFFERENT TIMELINE, AND IT IS A REASONABLE TIMELINE.

ONE OF THE CONCERNS THAT I HAVE ABOUT THIS WHOLE PROCESS WITH MCKINSEY

[00:35:02]

IS THAT MANY OF THE PROGRAMS THAT PRESUMABLY ARE, WOULD BE STUDIED AS PART OF THIS, UH, THAT ARE HAPPENING IN OUR PARTNER ARENAS HAVEN'T EVEN ROLLED OUT YET.

SO I WOULD SUGGEST THAT, FOR EXAMPLE, THERE'S AN ITEM COMING TO YOU ANYTIME SOON.

I'M NOT SURE WHEN, BUT I HOPE YOU WILL VOTE FOR IT.

THAT IS THE MENTAL HEALTH DIVERSION PILOT COMING FROM THE COUNTY.

THE MENTAL HEALTH DIVERSION PILOT IS ANOTHER MULTIPLE FUNDED MULTI-PARTY, UH, PROJECT THAT IS INTENDED TO PROVIDE A BETTER OUTCOME FOR PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS THAN GOING TO THE JAIL, WHICH IS WHERE THEY STILL GO.

UH, THERE WAS A DOWNTOWN AUSTIN ALLIANCE FORUM JUST THIS MORNING ON THIS TOPIC IN WHICH IT WAS MADE CLEAR THAT, YOU KNOW, WE STILL HAVE A VERY SERIOUS FORENSIC, UH, MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM IN OUR COUNTY, AND THAT THE COUNTY JAIL IS STILL OUR LARGEST MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDER.

AND SO, IN A MOMENT WHEN THAT PROJECT IS LITERALLY COMING TOWARDS YOU, I HOPE I, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT ON THE NEXT AGENDA TO BE APPROVED IN THAT MOMENT.

IT IS NOT THE RIGHT TIME TO START A CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IN THIS TOWN.

WE HAVE PLENTY THAT WE NEED TO STUDY IN AUSTIN ABOUT WHAT WE ARE DOING, AND WE CAN WAIT TO LET THE COUNTY ACTUALLY ROLL OUT ITS MOST IMPORTANT PROGRAMS. AND JUST SO YOU KNOW, I WAS ON THE WORKING GROUPS FOR THE CREATION OF THIS, UH, PROGRAM FOR MENTAL HEALTH DIVERSION.

SO I DO REMEMBER HOW LONG AGO THOSE MEETINGS WERE.

WE'VE BEEN MEETING ON THIS SINCE 2022.

SO THANK YOU SPEAKER.

NEXT SPEAKER UP IS BEVERLY MANNY, CHRIS HARRIS.

ANNA HARRIS.

GOOD MORNING.

UH, MY NAME IS CHRIS HARRIS.

I'M WITH THE AUSTIN JUSTICE COALITION.

I LIVE IN DISTRICT NINE.

UH, NOW THAT THE COUNTY HAS VOTED DOWN, PARTNERING WITH THE CITY ON THE MCKINSEY STUDY, THE COUNCIL HAS THE CHANCE TO RIGHT THE WRONG OF THIS CONTRACT AND FORCE CITY MANAGER GUARDS THERE TO REVISIT THE DEAL AS HE PROMISED HE WOULD IF THERE WERE NOT PARTNERS.

THE CONTRACT DOESN'T WORK WITHOUT PARTNERS.

THE STUDY IS UNNECESSARY AND THE VENDOR CORRUPT.

THE STUDY IS AN IMPROPER USE OF PRECIOUS ARPA DOLLARS.

THE ARPA PROGRAM WAS DESIGNED TO HELP ADDRESS COVID AND REMAKE OUR, OUR SOCIETY, UH, IN WAYS THAT REALLY MAKE SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE LONG-TERM, LONG-TERM INVESTMENTS.

THIS DOES NOT DO THAT.

WE URGE THIS COMMITTEE TO RECOMMEND REVISITING THIS CONTRACT IMMEDIATELY.

SOMETHING THAT CAN AND SHOULD BE FUNDED IS THE MENTAL HEALTH DIVERSION CENTER IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE COUNTY.

THIS PROVIDES NEW RESOURCES TO PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH DIAGNOSES, PROMISES TO KEEP PEOPLE THAT NEED CARE OUT OF THE JAIL AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM AND MORE EFFECTIVELY AND EFFICIENTLY ADDRESSES PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, TREATS PEOPLE HUMANELY.

WE URGE THIS COMMITTEE TO IMMEDIATELY PUT THE $2 MILLION OF CITY PROMISED ON THE COUNCIL AGENDA SO THAT THIS IMPORTANT WORK CAN BEGIN.

FINALLY, IT'S THE LITERALLY THE LEAST YOU CAN DO.

AFTER SPENDING OVER $9 MILLION ON A SUBPAR SHELTER WITH NO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES, I'M HERE TO ECHO THE SERIOUS CONCERNS WITH THE MARSHALLING YARD BROUGHT TO YOU BY THOSE DIRECTLY IMPACTED.

LISTEN TO COMMUNITY BEFORE, INVESTMENTS IN EXPENSIVE BOONDOGGLES THAT SEEM MORE DESIGNED TO HIDE ON HOUSE FOLKS ON THE EAST SIDE AS USUAL MORE THAN ACTUALLY ABOUT ADDRESSING HOMELESSNESS.

THANK YOU, BEVERLY MANNING, ANNIE ANNA HARRIS AND ANNA ROMERO.

IF YOU'RE HERE, PLEASE MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE MIC.

HI, MY NAME IS BEVERLY MANNING AND, UM, I'M JUST HERE TO SPEAK ABOUT BEING HOMELESS BECAUSE I USED TO BE ABOUT A WEEK AGO, I FINALLY GOT MY APARTMENT AND I'M HERE TO SPEAK ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE LIKE ME THAT HAS NO PLACE TO GO, NEED A PLACE TO GO.

AND IT, IT, WHEN I WAS THERE, I SEEN A LOT OF THINGS THAT WASN'T RIGHT THAT SHOULD BE CORRECTED, THAT'S NOT BEING CORRECTED.

BUT, UM, I JUST WANNA SPEAK ON BEHALF OF

[00:40:01]

THE OTHER PEOPLE LIKE ME THAT THAT'S STILL OUT THERE AND NEED A PLACE, WANT A PLACE, AND CAN'T GET A PLACE RIGHT NOW.

BUT, UM, IT'S, IT'S, IT'S VERY SAD BECAUSE IT TOOK ME ON A WAITING LIST A YEAR AND A HALF, AND STILL NOTHING.

AND THEN I GOT AN ADVOCATE.

IT TOOK ME FIVE MONTHS, THAT'S WHEN I GOT MINE.

AND, UM, I JUST WANNA SAY I'M VERY THANKFUL, GRATEFUL, AND I HOPE Y'ALL DO THE SAME FOR OTHERS VERY QUICKLY.

THANK YOU.

HI, MY NAME IS ANNA ROMERO.

THE TIME I SPENT ON THE STREETS WAS VERY SCARY.

I'M PART OF UHUNA RENTERS, AN UNHOUSED NEIGHBORS ALLIANCE.

MY MOTHER AND I WERE PREVIOUSLY UNHOUSED AND LIVING IN THE STREETS FOR THREE YEARS, EVEN BEFORE WE RECEIVED MUCH NEEDED HELP FROM VOLUNTEERS.

UH, THE TIME I SPENT ON THE STREETS IS VERY SCARY AND DANGEROUS, ESPECIALLY WITH MY MOTHER WHO WAS DIAGNOSED WITH KIDNEY FAILURE.

DURING OUR TIME UNHOUSED, WE WENT THROUGH TWO SWEEPS WHERE WE LOST PERSONAL BELONGINGS.

BEING UNHOUSED WAS TOUGHER, ONE THAN ONE MIGHT THINK.

EVEN THOUGH I WAS WORKING TO SUPPORT MY MOTHER AND SELF, THE WEATHER CONDITIONS WERE BRUTAL.

SUMMER DAYS WERE NIGHTMARES AND RELIEF FROM HEAT WAS ALMOST NONEXISTENT.

WINTER NIGHTS FELT HOPELESS, AND STAYING WARM IN A TENT WAS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE.

GETTING FOOD USUALLY MEANT EATING EXPIRED OR UNHEALTHY FOOD, WHICH CAUSED STOMACH ISSUES AND OTHER HEALTH ISSUES.

AND WITHOUT ACCESS TO RESTROOMS, OFTENTIMES MEANT ACCIDENTS HAPPENED.

IT WAS ONLY THROUGH THE CASE OF VOLUNTEERS THAT WE WERE ABLE TO GET OFF OF THE STREETS AND INTO HOUSING.

MANY PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THAT THE UNHOUSED DON'T WANNA WORK, UM, IS FALSE.

AND I WAS, I WAS PROOF OF THAT.

I SPENT, I'VE NOW BEEN AT MY JOB RIGHT NOW FOR FOUR YEARS.

THREE OF THOSE YEARS WAS UNHOUSED.

THANK YOU.

ANNA HARRIS, SOL PRAXIS, DANIELLA SILVA.

GOOD MORNING.

MY NAME IS SOL PRAXIS.

UM, HERE ON BEHALF OF THE RENTERS AND UNHOUSED NEIGHBORS ALLIANCE AND COMMUNITY POWER A TX, WE SUPPORT VOCAL TEXAS EFFORTS TO GET TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY FROM THE HOMELESS STRATEGY OFFICE AND TO DEMAND INVESTMENTS IN PERMANENT HOUSING.

THERE'S THIS FALSE NARRATIVE THAT PEOPLE WANNA STAY ON THE STREETS DESPITE SHELTERING OPTIONS, BUT VOCAL TEXAS IS RAISING SOME OF THE MANY REAL REASONS PEOPLE DON'T GO TO SHELTERS.

THERE'S NO COMPASSION, RESPECT, FAIRNESS, OR EVEN COMPETENCY.

WHEN I'VE OFFERED SPOTS TO THE MARSHALING YARD TO UNHOUSED NEIGHBORS, I KNOW NO ONE HAS WANTED TO GO BECAUSE OF EXPERIENCES AS SHELTERS IN GENERAL.

AND BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY'VE HEARD ABOUT THE MARSHALING YARD.

ONE FRIEND ON THE STREETS IN NORTH AUSTIN WHO CHOSE NOT TO GO, UH, FOR THOSE MANY REASONS RAISED, UM, ALSO DECLINED SHELTER DURING THE FREEZE.

I CHECKED IN WITH HIM BEFORE AND AFTER THE FREEZE TO SEE IF HE NEEDED SUPPORT AND IF HE HAD SURVIVED, HE SAID, QUOTE, COULD BE BETTER, COULD BE WORSE.

MY FRIEND THAT CAMPED NEAR ME CAUGHT HIMSELF ON FIRE AND DIED.

HE WAS A COOL DUDE IN THE REPORTING ABOUT THE LOSS OF THIS PERSON'S LIFE ON THE NEWS, IT SAID THAT CITY OFFICIALS WOULD LIKE TO REMIND RESIDENTS OF THE COLD WEATHER SHELTERS AVAILABLE AS IF HE HAD DIED BECAUSE IT WAS HIS CHOICE NOT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS RESOURCE.

LET ME SAY THAT THIS DEATH WAS PREVENTABLE THROUGH ACTION BY THE CITY AND THE HOMELESS STRATEGY OFFICE.

FIRST, MAKE SHELTERS SAFE, COMPASSIONATE, AND FAIR.

SECOND, THERE'S NO EXCUSE.

AFTER YEARS OF FREEZES TO NOT HAVE EFFECTIVE OUTREACH AND FREEZE RESPONSES, I VOLUNTEERED DURING EVERY FREEZE THIS YEAR WITH AUSTIN MUTUAL AID TO DISTRIBUTE WARMING AND SURVIVAL SUPPLIES TO UNHOUSED NEIGHBORS TRYING TO SURVIVE THE COLD.

MANY PEOPLE DID GO TO THE COLD WEATHER SHELTER, BUT MANY CHOOSE NOT TO.

THEY'RE INCREDIBLY RESOURCEFUL IN SURVIVING TOGETHER IN FREEZING CONDITIONS.

FOR THOSE WHO CHOSE NOT TO GO, THIS WAS MOST OFTEN BECAUSE IT WOULD MEAN LOSING ALL OF THEIR BELONGINGS.

THE CITY SHOULD FUND ROAMING SURVIVAL, CHECK-INS, NOT BY COPS WITH WARMING SUPPLIES AND MEDICAL CHECKUPS IN THE WAY THAT MUTUAL AID ORGANIZATIONS DO EVERY YEAR.

THE CITY SHOULD HAVE PROVIDED ROBUST STORAGE OPTIONS OFFERING TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE FOR FOLKS BELONGINGS.

THIS WOULD TAKE BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS AND TRUST AND EXPLAINING THAT THESE RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE, BUT THE CITY DOESN'T DO ANY OF THAT.

THERE'S A LACK OF TRUST AND CREDIBILITY BECAUSE THE CITY SWEEPS CAMPS ALONGSIDE THE POLICE.

UM, IN FACT, THERE WERE SWEEPS THE WEEK BEFORE THE FREEZE AND PROVIDE, UM, PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING.

UM, I'LL SEND ALL THE REST OF MY NOTES TO YOU.

DANIELLA SILVA, CELINE RENDON, AND RITA THOMPSON.

[00:45:01]

GOOD MORNING, COUNSEL.

MY NAME IS DANIELLA SILVA.

I'M A RESIDENT OF DISTRICT THREE.

UM, I'M HERE TODAY TO AMPLIFY AND UPLIFT THE MESSAGES THAT YOU'RE HEARING FROM PEOPLE WITH LIVED EXPERIENCE.

BUT MOST OF ALL, I'M REALLY FRUSTRATED BECAUSE MANY OF THE SAME PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THIS ROOM TODAY WERE HERE LAST YEAR TELLING YOU HOW BAD OF AN IDEA THIS WAS AND HOW WASTEFUL OF SPENDING IT WOULD BE.

AND IT'S FRUSTRATING THAT WE HAVE TO COME HERE AGAIN AND SAY WE TOLD YOU SO.

UM, SO I'M NOT GOING TO, YOU KNOW, UH, REPEAT A LOT OF WHAT WAS ALREADY SAID TODAY, BUT WHAT I AM GOING TO ASK IS THAT LIVED EXPERIENCE WAS NOT LISTENED TO AND ADVISE LAST YEAR.

AND SO I ASK THAT YOU ACTUALLY PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT THESE FOLKS ARE TELLING YOU TODAY AND ACT ACCORDINGLY.

IT'S SO FRUSTRATING THAT $9 MILLION WAS SPENT ON THIS SUBPAR PLAN WHEN IT COULD HAVE GONE SO MUCH FURTHER HAD IT BEEN DISTRIBUTED TO BOOTS ON THE GROUND.

ORGANIZATIONS THAT DO THIS WORK DAY IN, DAY OUT.

I MEAN, IF YOU HAD EVEN CHOSEN NINE OF THE, UM, YOU KNOW, MOST OUTREACHING ORGANIZATIONS AND GIVEN THEM EACH A MILLION DOLLARS, IT WOULD'VE DONE 500% BETTER THAN THE MARSHALING YARD HAS DONE THUS FAR.

SO PLEASE TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION WHAT THESE FOLKS ARE TELLING YOU.

TRY AND IMPLEMENT THE CHANGES, UM, THAT THEY ARE ASKING THAT YOU MAKE BECAUSE THIS POOR DECISION HAS ALREADY BEEN MADE.

SO TRY AND IMPROVE IT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

AND I ALSO WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS THE MCKINSEY STUDY, UM, WHICH I ASK THAT YOU NOT MOVE FORWARD WITH.

WE WENT THROUGH MASSIVE SHELTER ASSESSMENT PROCESS ALREADY.

SO WHY ARE WE DOING IT AGAIN? IT'S SUCH A WASTEFUL USE OF SPENDING, UM, AFTER THIS GOVERNMENT ACTED SO FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE BY MASSIVELY INCREASING THE AMOUNT OF OUR TAX DOLLARS THAT ARE SET ASIDE INTO THE RESERVE FUND.

UM, SO HOW ARE WE GONNA BE THIS WASTEFUL IN OUR SPENDING? THE HOMELESSNESS SUMMIT PLAN FROM 2021 IS STILL BEING IMPLEMENTED AND MCKENZIE IS AN AWFUL ORGANIZATION AND WE DON'T WANT OUR MONEY GOING TO THAT FIRM.

SO PLEASE, UH, FUND THE ITEMS THAT, THAT THESE FOLKS ARE, ARE REALLY NEEDING AND THE MONEY WOULD BE USED FOR BETTER.

THANK YOU.

SELENA RENDON AND RITA THOMPSON.

HI, MY NAME IS RICKY EVA, I'M IN DISTRICT ONE.

UH, I'VE BEEN EXPERIENCING HOUSING INSECURITY FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS AND HAS BEEN ONLY BY THE GRACE AND KINDNESS OF OTHER PEOPLE THAT I'VE MANAGED TO AVOID LIVING ON THE STREETS.

I'VE BEEN WORKING WITH AUSTIN MUTUAL AID FOR THE PAST COUPLE MONTHS, AND WHILE REVIEWING MY TALKING POINTS IN THE LOBBY FOR THE PAST HOUR, UH, I LEARNED HOW FRANKLY, DISGUSTING AND UNTRUSTWORTHY MCKINSEY IS.

AND IT MADE ME WONDER WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD WANT TO GIVE $2 MILLION TO A FIRM LIKE THAT.

IT REALLY MAKES ME THINK, Y'ALL MUST THINK WE'RE STUPID OR NOT PAYING ATTENTION, BUT I PROMISE YOU THAT WE ARE.

AND I THINK THAT MONEY WOULD BE MUCH BETTER SUITED FOR PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY WANNA HELP, WHO IN GOOD FAITH WANT TO GIVE RESOURCES TO PEOPLE AND HELP BECAUSE I'VE LIVED NAS MY WHOLE LIFE AND I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT LIVING ON THE STREETS.

SORRY.

THANK YOU LAST SPEAKER.

IT'S RITA THOMPSON.

THANK YOU.

THAT'S THAT'S HARD TO FOLLOW.

YOU KNOW, I'M HOME SECURE AND I CAN'T, I CAN'T HANDLE IT.

YOU KNOW, IT'S DISGUSTING WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OUR COMMUNITY.

I WANNA START BY SAYING WHO'S COUNTING HOW MCKENZIE HYPED CALIFORNIA'S HOUSING CRISIS? SO I SEE HOW IT IS.

THEY AND THEIR SIMILAR THINKERS CREATE A CRISIS, A PROBLEM THEY GENTRIFY EAST AUSTIN, WHICH WE HAVE TO MAKE AMENDS TO OVER IN DOVER.

AND THEN WE HIRE SOMEBODY WHO CREATES THAT AND TOUTS THAT AND SAYS, NOW YOU GET MORE MONEY AND CLEAN UP THE HOMELESS CRISIS.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I'VE BEEN A SOCIAL WORKER SINCE 1980.

I'VE WORKED IN RESIDENTIAL, OUTPATIENT, INPATIENT, AND I KNOW WHAT A GOOD INTAKE LOOKS LIKE AND I KNOW WHAT A GOOD DISCHARGE LOOKS LIKE, AND A GOOD DISCHARGE DOES NOT HAPPEN IN THE DARK OF NIGHT.

I REMIND CASEWORKERS AND THOSE WHO ARE SOCIAL WORKERS WITH ENDEAVOR WHO

[00:50:01]

HOLD A LICENSE THAT WE HAVE A CODE OF ETHICS TO ADHERE TO.

AN ENDEAVOR IS NOT YOUR CLIENT.

THESE RESIDENTS ARE YOUR CLIENTS.

THESE PEOPLE ARE YOUR CONSTITUENTS.

ONE MORE POINT, I JUST WANNA MAKE, DISRUPTION OF MEDICATION CAN CAUSE PSYCHOSIS, DEATH, AGGRESSION, SUICIDE.

IT IS INEXCUSABLE IF THAT OCCURRED.

FOR THAT TO NOT BE SEEN AS A CRISIS AND IMMEDIATELY ADDRESSED.

RYAN ALTER, I AM IN YOUR DISTRICT.

PLEASE IF NOTHING ELSE TODAY, MAKE SURE THAT ENDEAVOR ASSURES YOU THAT IF MEDICATION IS NOT SECURE OR ACCESSIBLE TO CLIENTS, THAT SOMETHING WILL BE DONE IMMEDIATELY.

THANK YOU.

WE HAVE ONE MORE SPEAKER.

ANDY.

THANK YOU.

WE HAVE ONE MORE SPEAKER.

ANDY BROWER.

OKAY, THANK YOU.

GOOD MORNING.

MY NAME'S ANDY BROWER.

I AM THE, UM, NEIGHBORS PROGRAM MANAGER AT CENTRAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.

I APPRECIATE THE EFFORTS OF COLD WEATHER SHELTER THAT THE CITY HAS MADE.

UM, ALSO THE SHELTERS THAT HAVE, UM, COME UP TO HELP PEOPLE.

I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE'S STILL A LOT OF ISSUES, BUT MOST OF THE PEOPLE I'VE TALKED TO HAVE APPRECIATED HAVING A BED AND THREE MEALS A DAY AND A SHOWER, EVEN THOUGH THERE'S NOT ENOUGH OF THEM.

I KNOW THAT THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT IT'S A WAREHOUSE AND IT'S NOT THE BEST SETTING, BUT I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE BEING LEFT OUT IN FREEZING COLD HEAT AND IN UNSAFE CONDITIONS.

HOWEVER, OUR SHELTER SYSTEM IS STILL CLOUDED BY A LACK OF COORDINATION, TRANSPARENCY, AND BARRIERS FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS.

THE SHELTER PROCESS INTAKE SHOULD BE CLEAR AND UNDERSTOOD BY ALL AND CONSISTENT ACROSS ALL THREE CITY OWNED SHELTERS.

LEADERSHIP HAS NOT PROVIDED CONSISTENT INFORMATION ABOUT THIS, AND THERE'S A LOT OF CONFUSION.

IT COMES DOWN TO, IT COMES DOWN TO WHO, YOU KNOW, IN ORDER TO GET INTO A SHELTER, PEOPLE ARE WHOM ARE HOMELESS, KNOW BEST WHAT THEY NEED, BUT THEY'RE NOT ALLOWED TO WALK UP AND SAY, I NEED A BED TONIGHT.

EVEN IF THEY'RE SUICIDAL, IF THEY'RE HAVING A CRISIS.

AND, AND THAT'S NOT RIGHT.

I WANNA POINT OUT A NATIONAL ALLIANCE AND HOMELESSNESS REPORT, UM, THAT THEY, THAT WAS DONE IN COLLABORATION WITH AUSTIN IN 2018.

AND THEY SAID A COMMUNITY-WIDE DECISION MAKING PROCESS SHOULD BE USED TO DETERMINE PRIORITIZATION.

WHILE THE SYSTEM NEEDS A CONSISTENT PRIORITIZATION PROCESS FOR MATCHING PEOPLE TO HOUSING, THE SYSTEM HAS TO ALSO HAVE A PRIORIT PRIORITIZATION PROCESS FOR PEOPLE WHO GET SHELTER BEDS.

THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN.

UM, PEOPLE NEED A, THAT ARE FLEEING UNSAFE SITUATIONS NEED A SAFE AND DECENT PLACE TO STAY.

AND IN AN EFFECTIVE HOMELESS CRISIS RESPONSE SYSTEM, ANYONE EXPERIENCING A HOUSING CRISIS SHOULD EASILY ACCESS SHELTER.

WE KNOW THAT'S NOT THE CASE.

I WALKED SOMEONE DOWN TO EIGHTH STREET LAST WEEK AND THEY WERE TOLD THIS ISN'T THE WAY TO GET IN.

SHE WAS FLEEING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

SIX YEARS AFTER THIS REPORT COMES OUT, WE STILL HAVEN'T IMPLEMENTED BEST PRACTICE DESPITE A YEAR OF ASKING OUR LEADERS TO BRING ALL SHELTERS TO THE TABLE.

IT'S STILL NOT BEING DONE.

THE CITY DESPERATELY NEEDS TO DEFINE ITS ROLE IN HOMELESSNESS AND DESPERATELY NEEDS TO PLAN.

THAT'S DONE BY THE LEADERS AND PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE SYSTEM, NOT AN OUTSIDE CONTRACTOR.

THANK YOU.

THAT IS LOVELY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU TO OUR CLERK AND THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO JOINED US FOR OUR COMMITTEE MEETING, FOR YOUR REMARKS.

AND, UH, WE'LL CER CERTAINLY WANT TO DIG INTO SOME OF THE CONCERNS THAT WERE RAISED HERE SHORTLY.

COLLEAGUES.

UM, WE'LL NOW MOVE ON TO APPROVAL OF THE MEETING

[1. Approve the minutes of the Public Health Committee meeting on December 13, 2023.]

MINUTES.

THIS IS ITEM NUMBER ONE.

CAN I GET A MOTION AND A SECOND TO APPROVE THE DECEMBER 13TH, UH, 2023 MEETING MINUTES.

VICE CHAIR VELASQUEZ MAKES THE MOTION SECONDED BY COUNCIL MEMBER RYAN ALTER ANY OBJECTIONS TO APPROVING THE MEETING MINUTES? SEEING NONE, THOSE STAND APPROVED.

ALL RIGHT.

NOW WE WILL MOVE

[4. Receive a briefing on the marshalling yard temporary emergency shelter operations, cold weather shelter operations and Healthier Austin Partners from David Gray.]

ON TO RECEIVE A BRIEFING ON THE MARSHING YARD TEMPORARY EMERGENCY SHELTER OPERATIONS, COLD WEATHER SHELTER OPERATIONS, AND THE HEALTHIER PARTNERS INITIATIVE.

AND FROM MY UNDERSTANDING, OUR CITY MANAGER, JESUS GARZA, WILL BE KICKING OFF THAT BRIEFING.

THANK YOU COUNCIL MEMBERS.

I'M, UH, LET ME TEE THIS UP.

I KNOW THAT DAVID IS GONNA GET INTO THE SPECIFICS OF SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT WERE RAISED OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST, UH, HALF HOUR OR SO, BUT THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT THE REVIEW WE WANT TO DO OF THE CONTRACTS.

UH, RELATIVE TO THE ISSUE OF PEOPLE WHO EXPERIENCE HOMELESSNESS, I THINK THAT IT IS SAFE TO SAY

[00:55:01]

THAT MY POSITION HAS BEEN SINCE, UH, ARRIVING ALMOST A YEAR AGO, IS THAT THIS REQUIRES A MULTI-JURISDICTIONAL EFFORT.

AND THAT MEANS THAT WE NEED ALL OUR PARTNERS AT THE TABLE WITH US ON THE ADMINISTRATIVE SIDE SO WE CAN SORT THROUGH THESE SPECIFIC ISSUES THAT ARE NECESSARY SO THAT WE CAN HAVE HOMELESSNESS BE RARE, BRIEF, AND NON-RECURRING.

THIS FISCAL YEAR, WE'VE, UH, HAVE ALLOTTED $80 MILLION OUTTA THE GENERAL FUND FOR THIS ISSUE.

AND I CAN SAY THAT OVER THE LAST THREE FISCAL YEARS, THAT IS FISCAL YEAR 21, FISCAL YEAR 22, AND FISCAL YEAR 23, WE'VE ALLOCATED ALMOST IN EXCESS OF $200 MILLION TO THIS ISSUE ALONE.

AT THE, IN THAT COURSE OF THAT TIME, THE NUMBER OF HOMELESS HAVE NOT DECREASED, BUT IN FACT HAVE INCREASED.

AND THAT'S WHY THIS REVIEW IS SO ESSENTIAL.

SO WE CAN UNDERSTAND FROM THE, WHAT THE LEADING INDICATORS ARE SO THAT WE CAN DO MORE PREVENTATIVE WORK SO THAT PEOPLE EXPERIENCE THAT EXPERIENCE.

HOMELESSNESS IS RARE AND BRIEF AND MOST OF THESE FUNDS THAT I'VE JUST MENTIONED AGO ARE ON DIRECT SERVICES.

THEY'RE DIRECT SERVICES TO THE PEOPLE THAT EXPERIENCE HOMELESSNESS.

AND IT'S IMPORTANT FOR THE PUBLIC TO KNOW THAT THE CITY AND OUR PARTNER AGENCIES ALLOCATE RESOURCES SO THAT WE CAN MAKE WISE POLICY DECIS DECISIONS TO ALLOW MORE EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT SERVICES FOR THE VULNERABLE POPULATION IN THIS COMMUNITY.

THAT'S WHY THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND OUR PARTNER AGENCIES MET IN OCTOBER OF THIS YEAR, SO THAT WE COULD BEGIN DISCUSS THAT PROCESS THAT WE WOULD UNDERTAKE TOGETHER TO ENSURE THAT WE WERE ALL MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION AND MAKING THE INVESTMENTS WHERE WE, WHERE THEY COULD BE THE MOST EFFECTIVE.

REPRESENTATIVES FROM ALL THOSE AGENCIES, INCLUDING TRAVIS COUNTY, MET MULTIPLE TIMES OVER THE LAST MONTHS TO DISCUSS THE COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW.

WE ALL UNDERSTOOD THE CURRENT FRAGMENTED APPROACH TO ADDRESSING HOMELESSNESS IS INADEQUATE.

AND, UH, WE NEED A COHESIVE, INTEGRATED STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE MEANINGFUL, SUSTAINABLE AND NOTICEABLE OUTCOMES FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

AND DURING THESE MULTIPLE MEETINGS, OUR PARTNERS WITH OUR PARTNERS, WE REVIEWED AND PROVIDED FEEDBACK ON THE SCOPE OF WORK THAT WOULD BE DONE.

WE DISCUSSED THE LAUNCH OF THE THIRD PARTY CONTRACTOR AND MADE PLANS FOR THE WORKING GROUP TO BEGIN TO REVIEW THIS WORK THAT WAS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL.

AND WE USED THE PROCESS BY WHICH WE LANDED ON THIS, UH, THROUGH A COMPETITIVE PROCESS WHERE MCKINSEY WAS CHOSEN AND APPROVED BY COUNCIL.

WE EXPLAINED IN JANUARY TO EACH OF THE PARTNERS FOR THEM TO BE PART OF THIS WORKING GROUP, THEY WOULD NEED TO HAVE SOME FUNDING LEVEL, SOME SKIN IN THE GAME, IF YOU WILL, FOR THIS REVIEW.

CENTRAL HEALTH INTEGRAL CARE CONTRIBUTED ARE CONTRIBUTING MONIES TOWARD THIS CONTRACT AND THE, AND THE COUNTY, UH, FOR DECISION DECISIONS THAT THEY MADE.

A, A WEEK OR SO AGO, THEY DECIDED NOT TO PARTICIPATE.

AND IN SPITE OF THIS EFFORT, I'VE MADE CALLS TO THE, THAT THOSE AGENT, UH, THE COMMISSIONERS, TO SOME OF THE COMMISSIONERS, NOT ALL OF THEM, AS WELL AS TO SOME OF THE FOLKS THAT ARE IN, IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS, THAT THEY ARE WELCOME TO BE AT OUR TABLE, THAT WE DO NEED TO WORK AS A WORKING GROUP ON THIS ISSUE.

AND PART OF THE REASON WE NEED THE WORK TO BE DONE QUICKLY IS YOU WILL BE BEGINNING THE DEBATE ON FISCAL YEAR 25.

AND I WOULD WANT THE COUNCIL, I'M SURE THE COUNCIL WOULD WANT TO HAVE THIS INFORMATION SO THAT WHEN YOU MAKE POLICY CHOICES FOR FISCAL YEAR 25, YOU'RE INVESTING THE DOLLARS IN THE AREA THAT IS, THAT WILL BE THE MOST EFFECTIVE TO ACHIEVE THE BEST RESULTS FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

AND LET ME RE-EMPHASIZE WHAT I SAID JUST A MINUTE AGO.

IT, IT HAS ALWAYS APPEARED TO ME JUST IN THE YEAR THAT I'VE BEEN HERE THAT OUR APPROACH HAS NOT BEEN COORDINATED.

WE'VE HAD A FRAGMENTED, WE HAVE A FRAGMENTED SYSTEM THAT DOESN'T PULL THE PIECES TOGETHER.

AND THE INTENT OF GETTING THESE PARTNERS TOGETHER IS SO THAT WE HAVE A COHESIVE APPROACH, UNDERSTANDING HOW TO BE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE IN WHAT IT IS WE DO, NOT JUST WITH OUR GOVERNMENTAL PARTNERS, BUT THOSE OBVIOUSLY THOSE PRIVATE NONPROFITS THAT DO VALUABLE WORK IN THIS COMMUNITY.

AND I WANTED YOU TO HAVE THAT, UH, FEEDBACK.

AND UH, AND I, UH, I KNOW DAVID'S GONNA HAVE SOME INFORMATION FOR YOU IN TERMS OF SOME OF THE ISSUES AND COMMENTS THAT WERE RAISED JUST A MINUTE AGO, BUT IT IS OUR INTENT TO BE ABLE TO SERVE THE POOR AND VULNERABLE IN A MORE EFFECTIVE WAY.

AND I THINK THE CURRENT SYSTEM AND THE WAY WE'VE APPROACHED IT HAS NOT MET THOSE OBJECTIVES.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU MANAGER.

A REAL QUICK, UM, SINCE WE HAVE YOU HERE, UH, I REALLY APPRECIATE YOU PROVIDING THAT, THAT BACKGROUND AND, AND SHARING WITH OUR COMMUNITY, UM, ABOUT HOW THE HEALTHY PARTNERS INITIATIVE CAME TO BE.

AND, YOU KNOW, THERE HAS BEEN CONVERSATIONS GOING ON WITH THE OTHER INSTITUTIONS WITH CENTRAL HEALTH, TRAVIS COUNTY INTEGRAL CARE.

UM, PART OF WHEN CITY COUNCIL APPROVED THE HELP, THE CONTRACT WITH MCKINSEY, IT WAS WITH THE STIPULATION THAT THE CITY'S

[01:00:01]

PORTION WOULD BE 1 MILLION.

IS THAT STILL THE CASE? THE, THE, THE CONTRACT THAT WAS APPROVED WAS A $2 MILLION CONTRACT.

AND THE, AND THE ISSUE THAT WAS RAISED DURING COUNCIL WAS TO SAY, SHOULD THE FUNDING NOT MATERIALIZE, WHAT WOULD WE DO? AND I THINK MY COMMENT WAS IF THAT HAPPENED, WE WOULD SIT AND REGROUP, WE WOULD FIGURE OUT HOW TO CHANGE THE SCOPE OF SERVICES SO IT WOULD FIT INTO THE AVAILABLE FUNDING.

OKAY.

SO, AND THAT, AND THAT WORK IS NOT COMPLETE YET.

THAT WORK'S NOT COMPLETE.

SO WITH, WITH YOUR COMMENT THERE, IS THERE A SCENARIO HERE THAT THE CITY WOULD BE PAYING MORE THAN 1 MILLION? IF IT IS, IT WOULD ONLY BE A FRACTION, A SMALL AMOUNT ABOVE 1 MILLION.

I DON'T HAVE A NUMBER FOR YOU YET, WOULD THAT, BUT I'M GONNA PROVIDE A MEMO TO THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL TO SAY, THIS IS WHAT WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO, UH, CHANGE IN TERMS OF SCOPE OF WORK.

THIS IS THE NUMBER THAT WE'RE, THAT, UH, IS THE TOTAL, THIS IS THE FUNDING WE GET FROM CENTRAL HEALTH.

THIS IS THE FUNDING WE'RE GETTING FROM, UH, INTEGRAL CARE AND, AND WE MAY BE