FEMA Trailers for Austin Homeless RV Park

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June 22, 2010 by   2 Comments

Click here to watch a video on this project.

Austin, Texas, could soon create an RV park that houses hundreds of homeless people. The land sits near the airport. It was found unfit to live in because of the noise from airplanes taking off and landing, according to KXAN-TV, Austin.

“We’re now asking the FAA can we use this land for a homeless RV park the sight is ideal because it is not adjacent to a neighborhood and closely connected to mass transit,” said Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez.

However, some are against the proposal saying it could hurt the city. A similar proposal, at a different location, was rejected by the council two years ago.

“I feel like it will promote more homeless people to come to Austin which I wouldn’t prefer,” said Brenna Sura, an Austin resident.

Still, proponents of the homeless RV park say the city has to do something and soon.

“There’s not enough beds each night in the current shelters and there’s not enough affordable housing,” said Martinez.

Mobile Loaves and Fishes would fund the project through private donations and is purchasing some of the FEMA trailers used after Hurricane Katrina.

“The proposal is about 100 trailers and then about 50 fixed cottages,” said Martinez.

Karl James has been homeless the last year and is all for the idea but against the location.

“A lot of people won’t give us bus passes; it’s far to walk out there especially in the day heat of summer,” said James.

The city of Austin owns the land and would lease it to the non-profit organization but would not allow children to live there due to safety concerns. They will also have to consider security, whether to allow alcohol on site and possible surveillance cameras and is just in the early planning phases.

The resolution is expected to pass the city council Thursday.

“It just asks staff to determine whether or not we can use this site,” said Martinez. “We’re not trying to create five star living conditions we are literally trying to get them off of the street.”

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2 Responses to “FEMA Trailers for Austin Homeless RV Park”

  1. Liz on June 24th, 2010 10:20 pm

    Austin has such a prolific problem with homeless people because they make it comfortable for people to be homeless there. In cities where homeless people are looked at more as vagrants with appropriate laws making homelessness unacceptable, the problem is not so great. The idea they they could disallow alcohol or drugs, and exercise control with security cameras, is purely ridiculous.
    We as a society choose rules to live by based on our values. We have laws against public nudity, public intoxication, and public sexual behavior. The idea that someone has the “right” to be homeless, i.e. the right not to work, not to have a residence, the right not to be a contributing citizen, is one thing. That somehow we who DO work and maintain responsible lives should support these people in any way is offensive. If they want to be homeless, that is their choice. But it is not MY responsibility to provide for them. As any RVer knows, trailers, by their very nature, require a certain amount of maintenance and RV knowledge. A trailer park such as the one being suggested will be nothing but a slum at the edge of the Austin airport.
    If this is set up, homeless people will come like a magnet from all over the country. Austin had better think carefully before setting up this magnet for trouble.
    My husband and I are enthusiastic RVers. This type of RV activity is the LAST thing the RV community needs.

  2. B. Malone on October 21st, 2010 3:25 pm

    Now they are trying to put the homeless R.V. park in North Austin by the beautiful DOMAIN shopping center.
    FACT: If you put a homeless R.V. Park near the DOMAIN in North Austin:
    1. CRIME will increse in this area and surrounding areas because many of these homeless people have drug or alchohol addiction and/or psychiatric problems. I am not saying everyone BUT a large percentage of these people will turn to crime to pay for their substance abuse or because they have psychiatric problems
    2. Working people & local businesses in this area will SUFFER because they will be the victims of these crimes.
    3. Property values will suffer as a result.
    This same situation was tested in San Diego County, CA and the results were as I stated above. Specifically, these low-income r.v. parks were placed in Oceanside, CA; Carlsbad, CA and the results were consistent. These low-income r.v. parks such as Carlsbad Trailer Plaza, and Paradise By the Sea, and many others WERE HAVENS FOR CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES and these beautiful beach communities were DAMAGED severely by the substantial increase in crystal meth addiction, prostitution, etc.

    Please do NOT make the same mistake that San Diego County made.