Lawmakers debating bill that would fine those experiencing homelessness up to $500
HOUSTON - Texas lawmakers are discussing a bill that would ban homeless camps statewide.
House Bill 1925, has advanced through the house and it’s sparking conversation once more on what to do about those experiencing homelessness In the state.
Residents at the Turning Point Center in Houston, tell FOX 26 more should be done to help and the bill would hurt more than benefit those who are homeless.
"I don’t think it’s a good idea," said Hernadez Florez Shore, resident of Turning Point Center. "Those homeless people out their ain’t got nothing period."
Hernandez, has been living at the center for almost two year.
"I was homeless and I use to sleep behind dumpsters," said Shore." I don’t think it’s good to give them fines because they don’t even have a place to sleep they’re homeless."
The key components to HB 1925, would punish those living in tent cities in unapproved public spaces with a Class C misdemeanor, or a fine up to $500 hundred dollars.
A few amendments were also included, which would require officers to inform a homeless person on housing options
"As far as the ticketing goes, I think they should give them a blood or urine test, then if they have drugs or alcohol give them the ticket because that means they’re not trying," said Stephen Cunningham.
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Stephen Cunningham has also experienced homelessness and tells FOX 26, most living in those camps have an addiction problem, what would truly help are programs aimed at that.
Like many cities HPD does have a homeless outreach program called HOT.
It’s comprised of 13 members.
Doug Griffith, President of The Houston Police officers union says- a bill that would require full officer involvement would mean more funding.
House Bill 1925 will go to the Senate next.