A resident of Austin, Texas, told CNN that she’s so fed up with the homeless crisis that she welcomes Gov. Greg Abbott’s solutions to the problem despite being a lifelong liberal.
CNN’s Ed Lavandera interviewed a homeless man who faced eviction from his homeless encampment, but then heard the other side of the issue from Cleo Petricek.
“[Being] homeless is not a crime, absolutely it’s not, but the behavior behind it that you see when it increases to you know, recklessness, aggressive panhandling, actively using drugs, drug needles,” she told Lavandera before pointing to drug paraphernalia in plain view.
Chris Baker, a homeless advocate, strenuously disagreed with the approach from Abbott.
“And I’ll tell you that like evicting people from living under a bridge is not a solution that’s gonna have any kind of lasting effect,” he told Lavandera.
“This is theater, this is political theater,” he added.
Petricek says she’s a liberal who has never voted for a Republican, but she praises Abbott for tackling the homeless crisis when city officials have refused.
“Somebody is listening to us, because when it comes down to it, we all live here,” she concluded.
Abbott gave city officials a deadline to begin dealing with the homeless crisis, but he has since taken charge of the issue himself.
“Today the Texas Dept. of Transportation began cleaning under bridges in Austin,” he tweeted.
“It’s a slow process and won’t be completed in one day, but steady progress is being made,” he added. “Our goal is to make Austin safer while also providing better alternatives for the homeless.”
Here’s the report from CNN:
Advocate for Austin homeless residents: It’s political theater