Jimmy James came to the Esperanza Community after googling “Texas homeless camps.” He had been living on the streets of Houston for about three years, and he arrived in Austin to find an encampment of roughly 150 people living in tents and temporary shelters on a sprawling, flat slab of asphalt off U.S. 183
The site had once been a Texas Department of Transportation storage lot. The state’s governor, Greg Abbott, designated the site for camping in late 2019 in an effort to divert unhoused people from downtown Austin. The Other Ones Foundation (TOOF) came to the camp in the summer of 2020 to work in partnership with the residents and other organizations to create a safe community where people could access crucial support services.
Block: REEL Life
Nov. 12 // Texan Theater