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    Posted March 11, 2012 by
    Austin, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    SXSW through your eyes

    Mikeb1 and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: South by Southwest 2012
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    Homeless during SXSW


         Like many young professionals in Austin Texas I spent Friday evening at South by Southwest (SXSW). Unlike most patrons, however, I walked a block north of Sixth Street to the ARCH Homeless Shelter where about a dozen people were huddled outside in the cold. When I asked why they were outside I was told that there were not enough beds.

         To my mind this does not mean that SXSW did anything wrong, or that there is anything immoral about people celebrating, but it does is raise a question (particularly in the wake of the Homeless Hotspots controversy, where a SXSW participant used homeless people as hot spot advertisements). Is it ethical to yield so much public space to private party promoters while still unable to house our homeless during a fierce cold snap?

         A young homeless Veteran I spoke to told me; “A little over a month ago we were OCCUPY AUSTIN and it seemed like we were just about to make the city do more for us, but then they evicted us and told us we could just go to the shelter; well I’m here at the shelter sleeping outside. I don’t understand, they said we did not need to occupy to be heard, but here we are right afterwards totally ignored.”

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