The Headspace Salon proprietor stated it normally takes Austin police over an hour to reach, although the assaults are nonetheless lively.
AUSTIN, Texas — A South Austin enterprise proprietor says aggressive folks experiencing homelessness and sluggish police response instances make it arduous to maintain the enterprise open.
Laura North is looking for Austin police to reply faster to lively assaults and asking the Metropolis to maneuver sooner to find housing for the homeless.
“I wished to nonetheless have a heartbeat in South Austin and type of preserve outdated Austin alive,” stated Headspace Salon and Co-op proprietor Laura North.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 exterior the enterprise that North has grown chilly towards.
“We have now 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 beneath the freeway close to Ben White Boulevard and Pack Saddle Cross.
North stated among the folks residing there have gotten extraordinarily aggressive.
“He took large rocks and smashed our plumbing cleanout strains, simply began smashing them to smithereens,” stated North. “He was throwing rocks at shoppers, at employees.”
The newest assault was caught on digital camera on Monday. You may 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.
“We’ll name them 15 to twenty instances earlier than police arrive,” stated North. “At the moment, we type 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, although the assaults are nonetheless lively.
“We have now recognized 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 cannot 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, in any case.
“It is gotten so violent and unsafe for all of us that we simply want police assist,” stated North. “Truthfully, if it may stick with it this fashion, I might simply really feel loads higher realizing that there was 24/7 police assist round right here the place they might 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 folks to point out as much as work right here. I really feel unhealthy for shoppers that need to expertise [this], and if one thing’s not carried out, then we’ll need to make a extremely arduous selection.”
Austin’s Homeless Technique Division spokesperson did not inform us if there is a particular plan to relocate folks from that individual camp. Nevertheless, the spokesperson stated since 2021, the Metropolis’s moved practically 500 unhoused folks from camps to native bridge shelters and everlasting housing.