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I wanted to touch on a topic that has been weighing heavy on my mind recently, and I'd like to hear peoples thoughts. It's ironic that I discovered both these posts today. First, I read a somewhat encouraging article from Houston Public Media about a 5% decline in the homeless population from 2018 to 2019. You can read more in the article here: https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/city-of-houston/2019/05/15/333384/homelessness-down-5-in-houston/ . Obviously the stat on mental health spending was a little depressing, but to hear that Harris, Fort Bend, and Montgomery counties experienced a 54% decline in homelessness since 2011 was surprisingly positive news. But shortly after that I ventured over to the Houston Reddit to find a post entitled "Walked down Main St. from McGowen to Congress yesterday afternoon", which can be read here: Simply put, the post did not give me the warm fuzzies, especially since the area in question stretches all the way down Main Street. Sadly, I have seen the sights described in this thread, maybe not so much the smells, but definitely the sights. I've experienced the yelling, the drunkenness, and the tents/garbage lined up under the freeways. Downtown and Midtown are experiencing decent growth and development right now, yet the presence of the homeless continues to linger and in some cases grow. Certainly new development is helping clean some of these areas, but it seems as though these people simply relocate to other areas close by. For example, when I first moved to Houston in 2017, the entrance to 59 South from Richmond looked like any normal feeder. But for the past 6 months it has become overrun with garbage and filth, and this is right across from the Post 510 apartment complex. You can check the Yelp reviews for the place and see the problem is creating negative reviews from the tenants. This isn't the only complex experiencing the issue in the area, and I feel as though it will continue to keep people away from potentially relocating to Midtown and Downtown. But again, I want you guys to tell me your thoughts on the matter. What is the best course of action the city can take to curve this issue? Does anyone living in Midtown/Downtown echo these sentiments and have their own experiences to share? How will this impact the growth of Houston going forward?
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) achieved his goal of securing unanimous passage of his 1st budget on May 25th, a month ahead of the typical schedule & after an unusually brief & amicable discussion inside City Council headquarters. The $2.3 billion general fund budget, which pays for most basic city services with revenues from taxes & fees, spends $82 million less than the current budget, only the 2nd budget cut for Houston in decades. That is in spite of the city facing an additional $27 million in mandated employee raises & $29 million more in rising pension payments in the fiscal year that starts on July 1st. Anyone have thoughts on the budget & impact it's going to have ? http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Turner-unanimous-budget-OK-sends-strong-message-7945759.php