Homeless advocate Richard Troxell wants to create a larger-than-life bronze statue of three homeless people to be placed in an Austin park in order to raise awareness of homelessness
"We're looking at the big picture and how to end it," Troxell said. Several Austin City Council members including Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole are on board with the plan.
"Homelessness is a significant serious issue in Austin and I would hope that we find a location that people would see and recognize and bring attention to the issue," Cole said.
Twenty years ago a tree was planted at Auditorium Shores as part of the homeless memorial. Homeless advocates say a sculpture here would be a way to humanize the memorial. Troxell estimates it will cost at least $175,000 and he hopes to raise the funds for it.
"What we want to do is get at the core of the problem. In order to do that we need to gain momentum behind it and we need a vision. We need people to get emotionally involved in the situation."
Wednesday, FOX 7 stoke with homeless residents near the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless. Some, like Jonathan Bible, said they like the idea.
"I think it would go great to show how we're having to live day by day on the streets."
However, most homeless residents we spoke with believe that money could be used to help them in better ways. "I've heard about the sculpture. I think it's a waste of money," said Kimberly Young. "They need to be building us a new shelter not a sculpture."
One man told FOX 7, "It's going to cost a lot of money to makes this senseless statue for that much money. Make it a lot simpler and use the left over money that they're planning on to help people with mental disorders."
Joshua James added, "Help the homeless out in the ways of better food, better shelters, better healthcare, things like that."
Those who support the sculpture believe it will help the homeless and if people want to donate money to make it happen, that's their decision.
Cole said, "There are no city funds going to this sculpture. It is all private dollars and I think private people can determine the best way they want to contribute to this effort."
Thursday, council members will vote whether to allow the sculpture to be placed in an Austin park. If that resolution is approved then they will discuss exactly where it should go.