Growing homeless camp has Austin property owner at wits end, may force him to leave: ‘Doesn’t make sense’

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A property owner in Austin, Texas is begging the city for help in response to a homeless encampment that he says is negatively affecting his life and business to the point where he may have to pack up and leave.

Pedro Morales, who owns a building in the South Lamar neighborhood of Austin, told Fox 7 Austin this week that a homeless encampment popped up in a narrow area by his building complete with bedding, shelving, kitchen items and a laptop. 

Morales explained to the outlet that the encampment started with just one person but then began to grow and he says he has been vandalized and even found an ankle monitor lying around.

“Eventually it’s just going to be overwhelming, and it’s going to cost us business, and it’s going to cost us money, and it’s going to cost us time,” Morales said. 

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Pedro Morales says a homeless encampment in an alley by his property continues to grow (Fox 7 Austin)

Morales said he has called the city and the police and received a lackluster response. The police department removed someone from the property on May 5, Morales says, but the individual soon tried to come back.

“There’s absolutely zero accountability. I have to clean up somebody else’s mess. The city created this mess. I didn’t create that mess between my buildings,” Morales explained.

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Pedro Morales

Pedro Morales speaks to Fox 7 Austin about the homeless encampment next to his South Lamar property (Fox 7 Austin)

“The way the city has been progressively moving toward a direction of tolerance has caused this. I want to be tolerant, but you can’t affect my business. I can’t allow that. I’ll be tolerant to an extent. Once we start really losing business, it doesn’t make sense. We won’t live in Austin anymore. It’s that simple.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the city of Austin for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

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Austin, Texas skyline

In an aerial view, the downtown skyline is seen on April 11, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

It was recently estimated that just under 5,000 people are currently living on the streets in Austin which represents an increase since 2021, Austin Monitor reported.

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