Wed. Feb 1st, 2023

The Headspace Salon proprietor stated it normally takes Austin police over an hour to reach, despite the fact that the assaults are nonetheless energetic.

AUSTIN, Texas — A South Austin enterprise proprietor says aggressive individuals experiencing homelessness and sluggish police response instances make it exhausting to maintain the enterprise open. 

Laura North is looking for Austin police to reply faster to energetic assaults and asking the Metropolis to maneuver sooner find housing for the homeless. 

“I wished to nonetheless have a heartbeat in South Austin and sort of hold outdated Austin alive,” stated Headspace Salon and Co-op proprietor Laura North. 

In 2019, North opened Headspace Salon and Co-op, ensuring the within embodied the heat of Austin, but it surely’s what’s outdoors the enterprise that North has grown chilly towards.

“We now have males hiding within the bushes ready for us to go away work at night time,” stated North. “We have been threatened with rape, with homicide.” 

There’s a big homeless camp subsequent to the salon, with tents scattered below the freeway close to Ben White Boulevard and Pack Saddle Move.

North stated among the individuals dwelling there have gotten extraordinarily aggressive. 

“He took big rocks and smashed our plumbing cleanout traces, simply began smashing them to smithereens,” stated North. “He was throwing rocks at shoppers, at workers.”

The newest assault was caught on digital camera on Monday. You possibly can see a person pull a pole out of the bottom, stroll over to the salon and act as if he’s going to smash the window. 

The proprietor of Headspace Salon in South Austin is pleading for assist after a rise in assaults from individuals staying on the camp close by.

She says if town cannot get them housed, the least they’ll do is reply to 9-1-1 calls in a well timed method.

That is an instance. @kvue pic.twitter.com/lrXMpaLgTj

— Daranesha Herron (@Daraneshatv) January 25, 2023

“We’ll name them 15 to twenty instances earlier than police arrive,” stated North. “At the moment, we sort of simply barricade ourselves inside and simply hope that they present up earlier than one thing actually unhealthy occurs.”

She stated it normally takes Austin police over an hour to reach, despite the fact that the assaults are nonetheless energetic. 

“We now have identified that this space has a giant problem,” stated District 5 Councilmember Ryan Alter. 

Alter is the councilmember for this space. He stated TxDOT cleans this camp incessantly, but it surely shortly returns. He stated he is made creating an improved housing plan his prime precedence.

“Let’s even have a secure place the place you can’t solely be however obtain providers to truly begin placing your self on a path to housing,” stated Alter. 

It is a promise North has heard from metropolis leaders since day one. Proper now, she is simply hoping for faster response instances from APD, at least. 

“It is gotten so violent and unsafe for all of us that we simply want police help,” stated North. “Truthfully, if it is going to stick with it this manner, I’d simply really feel so much higher realizing that there was 24/7 police help round right here the place they’d present up in 5 minutes, against an hour.” 

North stated she’s misplaced shoppers, workers and now fears her enterprise is subsequent. 

“I do not really feel secure right here,” stated North. “I do not really feel secure asking different individuals to point out as much as work right here. I really feel unhealthy for shoppers that should expertise [this], and if one thing’s not achieved, then we’ll should make a very exhausting alternative.” 

Austin’s Homeless Technique Division spokesperson did not inform us if there is a particular plan to relocate individuals from that individual camp. Nevertheless, the spokesperson stated since 2021, the Metropolis’s moved practically 500 unhoused individuals from camps to native bridge shelters and everlasting housing.

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