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City Of Houston Crews Clean Up Homeless Encampment At Wheeler Avenue

The city, assisted by the Texas Department of Transportation and The Way Home, transported the homeless residents to shelters

Assisted by Houston police officers, crews from the City of Houston cleaned up a homeless encampment in Midtown and moved its residents to shelters as they prepare the area to become a bus parking lot.

Crews from the City of Houston cleaned up Friday a homeless encampment in Midtown and moved its residents to shelters as they prepare the area to become a bus parking lot.

The encampment was at the intersection of Wheeler Avenue and Caroline Street, under an Interstate 69’s overpass, and has been a site for Houston’s homeless population for years.

The City has attempted to clean it up in the past, but about 45 people still lived in the encampment, according to a tweet that Mayor Sylvester Turner sent in the morning.

Later on Friday, deputy press secretary Tanya Makany-Rivera detailed that 30 people were at the encampment in the morning and all were offered shelter. Fifteen accepted the ride to shelters.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a news release that the “vulnerable population” of the encampment attracted “predators” that wanted to “victimize” them.

The Texas Department of Transportation and The Way Home helped the City with transporting the homeless residents to shelters.

“Finding shelter and longer-term housing for homeless people and reducing dangers to all residents of the neighborhood has always been the focus of our work,” the mayor said.

Crews from the City of Houston cleaned up Friday a homeless encampment in Midtown and moved its residents to shelters as they prepare the area to become a bus parking lot.

The City also argues the encampment must be eliminated because Dr. David Perse, Director of Emergency Medical Services, has found that the site poses a public health nuisance due to human and animal waste, insect infestations and rotted food.

A block from the encampment, Larry Jack, who told News 88.7 he has been homeless in Houston for six years, commented the clean-up operation is nothing new. “I lived all around here – where have I not lived here? I’ve slept on every sidewalk. Everywhere I sleep they tell me to move.”

The city’s news release said notices were placed at the encampment on Tuesday informing residents that the area would no longer be available for their use. Besides free transportation to shelters, the city provided free storage for many of the residents’ belongings.

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