Austin police have started enforcing new rules that ban camping, sitting and lying down in public. People experiencing homelessness can no longer camp on sidewalks, or camp or rest within 15 feet of an open business or a home. Those rules also ban camping outside of city-owned shelters, like the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, known as the ARCH.
Everitt Walls is a company man.
The 73-year-old veteran served in the Army in Vietnam. He follows rules, and he follows chain of command. He also shares a camp across the street from the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) with a friend.
He doesn’t camp on a sidewalk, or in front of a business. But he does camp within the area where it’s prohibited under the city’s new rules that restrict camping, sitting or lying down in public. Yesterday morning, he didn’t fully know those rules, or what comes next – and he wasn’t alone.