North America Press Statement on Austin Homelessness Debate
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11/06/2019
Elysa Neumann, Centre for Public Impact
STATEMENT: Dan Vogel, Director of North America at the Centre for Public Impact, Speaks on Austin Homelessness Debate
Austin, Texas- This week, the debate between Texas Governor Greg Abbot and Austin Mayor Steve Adler reached a critical point as TxDOT crews moved to clear homeless encampments across the city.
On one side of the debate, Governor Abbot has raised concerns over the health and safety of Austin residents. On the other side, Mayor Adler has been “focused on housing, not hiding.” Meanwhile, individuals experiencing homelessness are asking for protection and a “safe solution” that will be effective in the long-term.
“The importance of finding sustainable, long-term solutions to homelessness is something that everyone in Texas can agree on,” commented Dan Vogel, Director of North America at the Centre for Public Impact (CPI). “The Centre for Public Impact's research shows that effective solutions can be developed when we include diverse voices in the problem-solving process, especially the voices of those most affected.”
The Centre for Public Impact first engaged with the issue of homelessness in Austin in early 2019 when the Austin Homelessness Advisory Committee (AHAC) was identified as one of the innovative approaches to watch in CPI's study on the Future of U.S. Cities. AHAC was developed in 2017 through a grant with Bloomberg Philanthropies to explore new approaches to homelessness. To date, the project has shown early success thanks to sound management, clear objectives, and strong stakeholder engagement.
"Austin has worked hard to include people experiencing homelessness in the process to solve it," Vogel continued. "The Centre for Public Impact applauds this effort. We believe this approach builds trust between residents and policymakers and will contribute to the creation of long-term solutions."
In a recent USA Today publication, Vogel spoke on the Austin approach saying, “It gives the effort legitimacy and restores trust in the process, two things in short supply today. It tells people experiencing homelessness (and everyone else in the community) that their ideas matter; that city officials are not just going through the motions for political reasons.”
When reflecting on the latest happenings in Austin, Vogel flagged an issue of alignment, saying, “Our Public Impact Fundamentals framework identifies alignment as a key element in creating successful policy. In Austin, we are seeing a clear example of misalignment among policymakers, which is negatively impacting their ability to provide the results residents need. The problem is urgent, so the time is now for leaders to come together and work with affected people to develop solutions."
Dan Vogel is available for additional media comment. To schedule, please contact Elysa Neumann at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 202-630-3383.
About Centre for Public Impact
The Centre for Public Impact is a not-for-profit founded by Boston Consulting Group. Believing that governments can and want to do better for people, we work side-by-side with governments—and all those who help them—to reimagine government, and turn ideas into action, to bring about better outcomes for everyone. We champion public servants and other changemakers who are leading this charge and develop the tools and resources they need, like our Public Impact Fundamentals, so we can build the future of government together.