THINK THIS IS JUST ABOUT STOPPING A HOMELESS SHELTER? THINK AGAIN.
What would happen if you woke up one morning, grabbed the newspaper, and read that the City of Austin was purchasing a property on your doorstep for "permanent supportive housing" for people experiencing homelessness and varying kinds of addiction?
No warning, no assurances, no collaboration, no information.
Just "Deal with it."
That's exactly what happened to homeowners and businesses in Northwest Austin on January 25, 2021, when they learned that the City had been negotiating to purchase the Candlewood Suites at 10811 Pecan Park Blvd, Bldg No. 2. Alarmed at the City's lack of transparency and concerned about the impact on their homes, businesses, and community, they quickly mobilized: collecting petition signatures, contacting elected officials, filing lawsuits, and doing everything they can to fight this planned conversion of a hotel into a shelter that will cost over $12 million to house around 50 people -- in short "Stop Candlewood," our original name.
While we still have a long way to go, as Williamson County and other parties wait for the courts to act, we have our work cut out for us in the meantime. Through researching the reasons of how the City of Austin was able to so easily procure property that would radically transform a community with so little in the way of advance notice or public outreach, we discovered that the problems with our city go much, much deeper than we were ever aware.
That's why we are busy building a community of engaged Austinites and residents of Travis, Williamson, and Hays counties to raise our voices and advocate for better alternatives to house the homeless, support businesses, protect our neighborhoods, and plan for the future of our dynamic city. We believe we're on the ground floor of something major in the life of our community and we want you to be a part of it!
In February 2022, following our one-year anniversary, we decidced to change our name to better reflect our focus and what we've learned, while holding on to our founding values of better communication, accountability and solutions.