HOUSTON – Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told people frustrated by a tent city near their homes that the Mayor’s plan to handle homeless includes a campground concept.
Chief Acevedo said he has talked with Mayor Sylvester Turner but couldn't share much about the yet to be announced plan.
Still, the Chief engaged concerned home and business owners at South Central Patrol’s Positive Interaction Program meeting.
“From the chief, I do (feel reassured),” Jim Honey, a homeowner said. “He’s the only one I believe. He’s the only one who speaks truthfully about things around here.”
Chief Acevedo didn't promise a quick fix.
“I’d like to tell you I have a magic pill that we’re going to fix it tomorrow, but it’s not going to happen,” he told the crowd.
However, he told them the city plans to open a campground of sorts for people who refuse help and insist on living under bridges.
“(It is) potentially a campground that’s actually monitored, policed with services, with appropriate facilities that people are able to use,” he said. “Because the truth of the matter is there is a certain segment of the transient population that you will never get them into regular housing.”
As for those living under the 59 overpass in midtown, the chief plans to visit them, see their needs and then take the next step.
The mayor’s plan may give police more power to deal with criminal transients, the chief said.
Mayor Turner promised to reveal his plan by the end of February.