Mayor's Office Press Release

City Cleans Up Homeless Encampment
Work Continuing on Comprehensive Homeless Initiative

January 14, 2017 -- The Houston Solid Waste Department was out in force again Friday removing trash and debris from the Highway 59 underpass in the Midtown/Museum Park area.  All personal items are left alone; only trash is hauled away.  Assistance is offered in case any of the homeless desire to seek shelter, but no one is forced to leave.  The area is of particular concern because it is home to the largest street population in Houston.  Photos of the cleanup may be viewed at 59 Cleanup.

“We are in the final stages of putting together a comprehensive plan for the homeless and our street population,” said Mayor Turner.  “I understand the concerns of those who live nearby these encampments and promise that we are working on solutions.  In the meantime, we continue to do as much as possible to address the problem.  This means zero tolerance for drug use and other criminal activity, ongoing outreach to those who seek shelter and keeping the area clean.”

The City and numerous other agencies have been focusing their efforts on the 59 underpass since October.  The Harris Center, Homeless Coalition of Houston/Harris County, City of Houston Health & Human Services Department, City of Houston Solid Waste Department, SEARCH Homeless Services, Star of Hope, Salvation Army, Midtown Management District, U.S. Department for Veterans Affairs, Houston Recovery Center, HPD Homeless Outreach Team, Houston Area Community Services, Healthcare for the Homeless, Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Workforce Commission are assisting with the effort.

The comprehensive plan Mayor Turner will unveil in the coming weeks will include numerous strategies for responding to and reducing Houston’s homeless population.

Since 2012, The Way Home – the greater Houston area’s nationally recognized, homeless response system - has housed more than 7,500 homeless individuals and provided them with connections to food and social programing opportunities that are essential to their long-term success and well-being.