District 7 Councilmember Files Council Consideration Request

Published on November 13, 2023

Council District 7 Ana E. Sandoval   

District 7 Councilmember Files Council Consideration Request Regarding the Unsheltered Community and the FY2024 Budget

SAN ANTONIO (November 14, 2024) — Today, District 7 City Councilwoman Marina Alderete Gavito filed a Council Consideration Request (CCR) seeking to connect the unsheltered population to city and partner resources, while delineating sensitive areas which pose a health and safety risk to the unsheltered, our residents, and the environment. The intent of this CCR is to prioritize the abatement of urban encampments in, or near, sensitive areas while simultaneously connecting our unsheltered population with the resources and expertise our city and community partners provide. The life-safety of the unsheltered population is a growing and pressing concern.

The policy request would: 

  1. Shape the way previously approved and allocated funds will be utilized. 
  2. Ensure the city is enhancing efforts to provide outreach and wrap-around services to the unsheltered population on a consistent basis to connect these individuals to the help and support they need.
  3. Establish prioritization of abatements in sensitive areas to limit the proliferation of urban encampments in sensitive areas. Sensitive areas will include areas near schools, residential neighborhoods, public parks, drainage easements, and areas in proximity to linear creekway trails.
  4. Aim to bolster neighborhood and environmental safety, in addition to the life-safety of the unsheltered, without criminalizing the action of being unsheltered.

This past June, residents identified “Homeless Outreach and Encampments” as their top concern in the citywide Budget Priorities Survey for fiscal year 2024. This past 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.

“At many neighborhood association meetings, residents shared concerns of 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. They are not receiving the resources and support they need in an alleyway nor 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.”

Districts 1, 6, 8, and 10 signed on in support of the CCR titled, “Prioritization of Outreach Services and Abatements in Sensitive Community Locations Regarding the Unsheltered Population.”