Mayor Turner introduces new homeless initiative

HOUSTON-- Mayor Sylvester Turner announced plans Thursday to construct low-level shelters under highway overpasses as part of a multi-part city initiative to reduce panhandling and homeless encampments.

The mayor said he'll also be giving council members a new ordinance banning tents on public property like those popping up under the Southwest Freeway.

The initiative comes in response to continued complaints from residents and city council members.

"Simply feeding them and not providing them with the other things that they need is not enough,” said Turner. "It is simply not acceptable for people to live on the streets, it is not good for them and it is not good for our city,” said Turner.

Turner added that 500 chronically homeless people will be placed into permanent supportive housing in the next six months.