I love visiting Austin, but a friend of mine there says, “You think you want to live here, but you really don’t.” He’s talking about stuff like this:
This week the Austin City Council considers placing a full-size statue to the homeless along Lady Bird Lake. But could the money be better spent on homeless programs? For people jogging along Lady Bird Lake, the current tiny memorial to the homeless is almost invisible. That’s why long-time homeless advocate Richard Troxell is proposing a much larger tribute to the people who have died living on the streets.
Troxell says, “This gives people that sense of being visible. That somebody knows that they’re out here. That they’re stuck out here and they’re crying out for help.”
Troxell, who founded House the Homeless, estimates 150 people died in Austin last year homeless. Opponents bristle at the $175,000 price tag, but Troxell bristles back. “This is chump change. This is nothing. We’re talking about a multi-billion dollar situation here.”
Chump change! A life-size lakeside statue memorializing destitution! Oh Austin, don’t ever change.