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Homeless Houstonians Have Mixed Reactions About The Encampments Ordinance

Some welcome it and say they will respect it and others think it is unfair.

Billy Pierce and William Tucker live in a homeless encampment located just around the corner from Minute Maid Park. They say they don’t have a problem with the ordinance and will respect the new rules.
Billy Pierce (left) and William Tucker (right) live in a homeless encampment located just around the corner from Minute Maid Park. They say they don’t have a problem with the ordinance and will respect it.
Shantaille Thomas lives at the same encampment as Pierce and Tucker. She says she doesn’t welcome the new rule and thinks it will hurt a lot of homeless people.
Shantaille Thomas lives at the same encampment as Pierce and Tucker. She says she doesn’t welcome the ordinance and thinks it will hurt a lot of homeless people.
James Thompson, who also lives at the encampment near the baseball stadium, thinks the ordinance is “unfair” because many homeless people don’t want to be taken to shelters.
James Thompson, who also lives at the encampment near the baseball stadium, thinks the ordinance is “unfair” because many homeless people don’t want to be taken to shelters.
The encampment located at the intersection of Hamilton and Commerce, just around the corner from Minute Maid Park, is exactly the type of site the ordinance will go after because it has numerous tents and the people who live there use cooking devices and, in some, cases may have personal property that doesn’t fit in a 3 X 3 X 3 container.
The encampment located at the intersection of Hamilton and Commerce, just around the corner from Minute Maid Park, is exactly the type of site the ordinance will go after because it has numerous tents and the people who live there use cooking devices. Also, in some cases, they may have personal property that doesn’t fit in a 3 X 3 X 3 container.

Homeless Houstonians have mixed reactions to the recently passed City ordinance that will soon make their encampments illegal.

One of the camps is just around the corner from Minute Maid Park, right in downtown Houston, and it is exactly the type of site the ordinance will go after because it has numerous tents and the people who live there use cooking devices and, in some, cases may have personal property that doesn’t fit in a three feet high, three feet wide and three feet deep –what is commonly known as a 3 X 3 X 3– container.

Billy Pierce lives there and he is OK with what is coming.

“I think the ordinance is good because it cleans everything up,” Pierce told Houston Public Media.

Pierce’s friend, William Tucker, has the same opinion. “I would abide by the rule and got with it, you know? ‘Cause something has to be done about the homeless, definitely, it’s a big problem.”

Tucker says part of the solution could be an official camp site for the homeless.

That is one of the components of a plan the City is working on, as established in the plan to deal with homelessness that Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced in March.

Shantaille Thomas, who lives at the same encampment as Pierce and Tucker, doesn’t see things the same way as them and emphasizes she feels “very aggravated” about the ordinance  “because, it’s gonna beat a lot of people that’s out here without anything.”

“You take away our tents and take away the little stuff that we do have… What do we have?,” added Thomas.

James Thompson, who also lives at the encampment near the baseball stadium, is not fond of the rule either and considers that “the ordinance is not fair because you have a lot of people out here that don’t wanna depend on a shelter.”

The City will start cracking down on homeless encampments on May 12th.

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Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Digital News Producer

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz is originally from Madrid (Spain). He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree...

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