Changes to homeless camping policy go into effect

Changes to the Austin's homeless camping policy are going into effect today after recent approval from Austin City Council. 

The changes revoke ordinances that allow police to ticket people for soliciting, camping and sitting or lying down laws.

People who live under I-35 say the ordinances only overwhelm them with unpaid tickets. Advocates and non-profits support the move saying it will stop criminalizing people for being homeless.

However law enforcement agencies say it only limits the police department. Officers will only be allowed to arrest or ticket someone who's soliciting, camping, sitting or lying in a public space if they present a public health or safety hazard or are blocking a walkway.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley has said he believes this will have a big impact on how Austinites perceive their levels of safety.

City officials say homelessness is a top priority for them and that they hope to reduce the amount of people living on the streets.



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