Midtown: Houston's new skid row

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The Chronicle‘s Jennifer Friedberg reports from a neighborhood meeting in Midtown:

Something needs to be done about a vacant lot that has become a hang out for the homeless in Midtown, a local resident told the Midtown Management District board at its Wednesday night meeting.

Lisa Rimmer-Iglesias who lives near the intersection of Austin and Webster streets said she is concerned about the land bordered by Webster, Austin, La Branch and Gray streets.

There is “a lot of trash, a lot of homeless, a lot of drugs and its looking pretty shoddy,” she told the board.

She said she has called the police to report the property, but would like to see some action from the district.

That’s not the only vacant lot that has become a vagrant campground. Unfortunately, there are vacant lots and public spaces all over Midtown that have become Houston’s version of skid row — and nobody really seems to care.

Some cities are lucky enough to have police chiefs and leaders that take a different, “broken-windows” approach to such problems. Other cities have police chiefs whose solutions to such problems are acronyms and flights to Phoenix on the weekends.


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