news under the bridge
TxDOT to build Austin homeless shelter while continuing I-35 expansion
As the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) moves forward with its multibillion-dollar Interstate 35 expansion project through Austin, the City is also looking for ways to offer shelter to those living under overpasses.
The project calls for the removal of overpasses along a seven-mile stretch of I-35 from 51st Street to Oltorf Street. Ricardo Acosta has lived on the streets of Austin for five years and sometimes sleeps under those overpasses.
"No, I don't get a place at night," Acosta said.
He isn't the only one. While people are not supposed to stay under bridges, TxDOT realizes some do.
"We took proactive steps to an initiative several years ago ... Emphasis of that is the Esperanza Community," TxDOT's Mike Arellano said.
According to Arrellano, Texas acquired seven acres of land next to the Esperanza Community in southeast Austin, run by the nonprofit The Other Ones Foundation (TOOF). The plan is to use the land to expand the community with an emergency shelter.
TOOF currently has nearly 200 small shelters for people who once experienced homelessness.
Read the full story and watch the video at KVUE.com.