The 'why' behind controversial relocation of the homeless

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City leaders are pushing back against accusations that the homeless population is being moved around to show Houston in a positive light during the Super Bowl.

"How are you going to tell me you don't care where I go, just don't be here," said Trampus Edwards angrily.

Edwards is one of dozens of people moved from the US-59 underpass in Midtown last week.

Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation said the homeless camp there was a safety hazard for drivers and pedestrians.

Most of those who live there, however, believe they were being moved because they were simply too visible.

"They want to make it seem like we don't have any problems in our city," Edwards said. "Everything is milk and honey, but it's not like that."

Marilyn Brown, the CEO of Houston Coalition for the Homeless, said the move had nothing to do with the upcoming Super Bowl.

"It is a long-term solution," Brown explained. "There's nothing short-term on our radar to do anything other than continue to engage folks on a daily basis."

The Houston Coalition for the Homeless provided these numbers on local zip codes tackling homelessness:

77002:
  • Unsheltered homeless individuals: 160
  • Not unsheltered homeless: 83
  • 66% of people seen/observed in 77002 were unsheltered homeless individuals

77004:
  • Unsheltered homeless individuals: 83
  • Not unsheltered homeless individuals: 41
  • 67% of people seen/observed in 77004 were unsheltered homeless individuals

77009
  • Unsheltered homeless individuals: 45
  • Not unsheltered homeless individuals: 40
  • 53% of people seen/observed in 77009 were unsheltered homeless individuals

77030:
  • Unsheltered homeless individuals: 35
  • Not unsheltered homeless individuals: 6
  • 85% of people seen/observed in 77030 were unsheltered homeless individuals

77054:
  • Unsheltered homeless individuals: 33
  • Not unsheltered homeless individuals: 21
  • 61% of people seen/observed in 77054 were unsheltered homeless individuals

77006:
  • Unsheltered homeless individuals: 26
  • Not unsheltered homeless individuals: 43
  • 38% of people seen/observed in 77006 were unsheltered homeless individuals.
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