Councilwoman Alderete Gavito Looks to Address Urban Encampments

Published on March 20, 2024

Council District 7 Ana E. Sandoval    

Councilwoman Alderete Gavito Looks Forward to Immediate Action to Address Urban Encampments

SAN ANTONIO (March 20, 2024) — Today, District 7 Councilwoman Marina Alderete Gavito’s Council Consideration Request (CCR) to prioritize unsheltered outreach and abatements was recommended by the Governance Committee to be brought to the full City Council for a briefing in April.

In June 2023, San Antonio residents identified “Homeless Outreach and Encampments” as their top concern in the citywide Budget Priorities Survey for fiscal year 2024. Last September, City Council and the Mayor approved more outreach coordinators, additional low-barrier shelter space, and allocated $500,000 for encampment abatements.

“The abatement budget was passed by City Council, and I’m making a recommendation on where to spend it,” the Councilwoman said. “We need to set expectations that these are areas we must prioritize on behalf of our neighborhoods: In residential neighborhoods, near schools, in parks, and in drainage ditches.

“At many neighborhood association meetings, residents continuously share concerns about the urban encampments in their neighborhoods. Treating the unsheltered population with compassion and connecting them to care should be a priority, but if we do not act now, the level of frustration will reach a tipping point where that compassion erodes. 

“Chronically unsheltered individuals are not receiving the resources and support they need in an alleyway or a drainage ditch. The accumulation of debris in these locations poses a health and safety risk to our most vulnerable residents and the environment, along with posing a life-safety risk to the unsheltered population.

“Thanks to our newly adopted budget measures, help is available, and we are targeting the problem, not the individual.”

The full CCR is available on the City’s website.