HOUSTON – The city has removed more than 156 tons of debris during 40 separate cleanups of parking lots, intersections and highway underpasses in the Midtown/Museum District since October.
The city said the cleanup is part of a response to neighborhood concerns about the accumulation of trash and debris in areas frequented by the homeless.
City officials said the cleanup crews do not take any items that belong to the homeless and no one is forced to leave. In addition, the Houston Police Department's Homeless Outreach Team makes itself available to anyone who would like assistance.
“Houston has made great progress in reducing its homeless population over the last few years,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “We will never eliminate it completely, but we can work to lessen its negative impact on our neighborhoods.
Officials said Houston has provided permanent housing for about 10,000 homeless people through The Way Home since 2012.
The Way Home is made up of more than 100 local government, business, faith, nonprofit and charitable organizations, which manage a single system focused on a "housing first" approach to homeless.
"These cleanups and the ongoing outreach are just a small portion of what will be a comprehensive approach to the problem," Turner said. "I will be announcing additional strategies in the near future.”