Cinco Puntos (Five Points) neighborhood's issues

May 13, 2014 5:00 PM | Anonymous

On Tuesday, May 13t, Mark Dominguez and Dave Stafford attended a meeting of the Cinco Puntos (Five Points) neighborhood association held at Raices a Refugee and Immigrant Center for 
Education and Legal Services. Only two items were on the agenda. (1) What to do about the numerous homeless wandering about in the Five Points area neighborhoods. (2) What measures were available to halt the closing of The Austin Academy, an elementary school under the umbrella of the SAISD.

The meeting was kicked off with a welcoming by Jonathan Ryan, Raices Executive Director.  He introduced Mrs. Maria Gomez, President Cinco Puntos Community Organization to provide the background on the evenings issues.

District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal was present and began his remarks with on the importance of the Five Points District and his priority of continuing the forward progress of the neighborhood. Mr.
Bernal pointed out that he is aware of the rise of the homeless population within the community and the issues that have developed. The floor was then opened to the attendees where several comments were made confirming the reports of increased numbers of homeless people and the instances of them coming onto the property, sleeping, creating trash, relieving themselves, and stealing personal property.

Ron Brown, the Ombudsman/Outreach Manager for the Haven for Hope [Phone: (210) 220- 2114], stated he would come to the scene if an individual or large group were just “hanging out” to address the issue directly with the vagrants and provide them the options that are offered by Haven for Hope. Also, three policemen (Part of the SAFE project) were present and discussed how to “harden” one’s home undefined make it more difficult for the homeless to steal or be a nuisance. The issue was closed with action by the City government to continue to monitor the situation and work closely with Haven for The secondary issue was addressed on the proposed closing of Austin Academy by SAISD.

Councilman Bernal started by clearly stating the he opposes the closing of the Austin Academy. Councilman then laid out the districts reasoning for the proposed closing. Residents then had the opportunity to voice their opposing of the closing and how it would affect the community. Many parents pointed out the elevated programming at the school and increased probability of collegiate attendance following the Academy’s graduation. Points were also made on how the Austin Academy was one of a decreasing number of public schools still in operation and available to centro San Antonio residents.

A follow-on meeting open to the public will be held with SAISD specifically on the Austin Academy on May 19, at 5:30pm at Burnet Elementary School. Numerous residents will be attending to voice their opinions against the closing.

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