A life-sized bronze statue of a homeless veteran holding his daughter is in the works for Austin’s Auditorium Shores.
One of Austin’s leading advocates for the homeless, Richard Troxell, say’s the statue captures an accurate image of homelessness in the city.
"We thought we needed to really humanize it, so we need to put a face on homelessness," he said.
The bronze memorial called "The Homecoming" will feature the soldier and his daughter, and an elderly woman with her bags.
Council Member Mike Martinez says the statue highlights the need to find permanent homes for the estimated 4,000 homeless Austinites.
"Until this issue is solved, we have a problem with homelessness in this community," Martinez said.
Martinez supports putting the statue in the heart of the city, but knows some Austinites won't be pleased with the prominent placement.
"It's not going to sit well with some people, but for me, it is a very important issue,” he said. “It's important to have a memorial to those homeless folks who have given their lives on the streets of Austin."
The statue is planned to compliment the city's existing homeless memorial—a plaque, bench and tree along Lady Bird Lake.
Austinite Jason Thompson supports the more prominent fixture as a means of fundraising.
"Obviously, the money would be helpful to the homeless people,” Thompson said. “If you get more people aware of the situation, maybe they are more likely to donate and raise more funds."
Making this statue, the latest call to action in the city's war to end homelessness.
The statue is expected to cost $175,000 which would be entirely funding through private donations.
If approved by the City Council on Thursday, House the Homeless will ramp up fundraising in October and donate it to the city.