Shocking footage has exposed the scene in an Austin park filled with liquor bottles, needles, Narcan and junk ‘as far as the eye can see,’ as a homeless encampment continues to grow.
The videos were of the West Bouldin Creek Greenbelt were posted on Monday by activist Jamie Hammonds, who reports from the Texas capital on the X page @DocumentingATX.
‘Another Greenbelt destroyed here in Austin… nothing but trash and junk as far as you can see… this is absolutely horrible,’ Hammonds said, adding that the encampment was at least the size of a football field, and you could smell it ‘even before you enter the greenbelt.’
He continued: ‘This is another beautiful Austin Greenbelt that will never be the same. This is infuriating… It’s just been destroyed. It’s going to be interesting to see if the city can actually clean this.’
A cleanup of the park is reportedly underway, but it could take months.
Shocking footage has exposed the scene in a homeless encampment camp at Austin’s West Bouldin Creek Greenbelt
‘Another Greenbelt destroyed here in Austin… nothing but trash and junk as far as you can see,’ said activist Jamie Hammonds
Back in April police found stolen high-powered military weapons and ammunition in the encampment. Just days ago, a fire broke out in a nearby encampment.
It comes after more than 70 encampment inhabitants were moved by the city government to the Southbridge shelter last month, as part of the Housing-Focused Encampment Assistance Link (HEAL) Initiative, as reported by Fox News.
The city has said it closes the homeless encampments that pose ‘the highest public health and safety risks.’
Hammonds claimed he saw a squirrel eating plastic at the Greenbelt, and noted the area looked ‘as bad if not worse’ than Violet Crown Trail, which has also been overtaken by a homeless encampment.
He previously pointed the blame at Austin’s Democratic leaders, arguing that policies have driven people from the city’s streets into recreational areas.
Hammonds said that areas such as the Violet Crown Trail made city residents feel as though that they lived in a bustling city. The trail is a 30-mile long hiking and cycling area that was established in 2006.
In April, Austin resident Isabella Ricks said she was attacked in broad daylight while jogging on the trail. She escaped unharmed but said she wouldn’t returning to the trail.
Hammonds pointed the blame at Austin’s Democratic leaders, arguing that policies have driven people from the city’s streets into recreational areas
There are around 4,600 people experiencing homelessness in Austin. Activists say that around 1,000 of those live in shelters while they rest roam free. So far, the city’s efforts to counter homelessness have seen anti-camping on streets laws passed and an increase in spending on public outreach programs.
The city’s council is made of ten Democrats and just one Republican, and is overseen by Democratic Mayor Kirk Watson. Hammonds said in a March 2023 interview: ‘We can’t keep going down this path. It takes constituents to push the council members to start making different decisions.’
Austin city officials say they have issued nearly sixty camping citations since the summer of 2022.
A May 2023 study found that around 13 percent of homeless people were living in greenbelt areas. That number has more than doubled from five percent in 2020.
Homeless encampments have been causing chaos for liberal-run cities across the country, including Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco, with frustrated residents and local business owners describing scenes of soaring violence, daylight drug use and no response by police officers due to budget cuts.
Crime in Austin across the board was slightly down in 2022 as compared with 2021, but aggravated assaults and auto theft was up nine and 16 percent respectively, according to statistics from Austin Police Department.
Hundreds of residents and businesses are fleeing Democrat-run cities across America in droves after having their livelihoods threatened by the growing number of homeless camps and soaring rates of crime
Purse snatching also more than doubled, and pick pocketing was up 30 percent.
In January, a crazed man from a homeless camp in Austin terrified workers at a hair salon as he went to the premises while swinging a piece of timber.
According to one of the workers, Laura North, such incidents outside Headspace Salon, which she started with friend Erin Mutschler four years ago, have been happening around twice a week in the last six months and police usually nearly an hour to respond.
In a video recorded from the salon, women can be heard screaming as the man threateningly approaches the store waving the piece of wood, which was still attached to a lump of concrete.
‘It feels like the city dropped a bunch of children and women in the middle of a war zone with no training and they are just hoping for no casualties,’ North told local outlet KXAN.
‘We’ve dealt with those types of men repeatedly for the last couple of weeks,’ she added. ‘We really did think that somebody might die.’