Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
This series looks at how local, state and educational policies affect the neighborhood – everything from City Council representation to childhood obesity.

Dove Springs: Turning the Corner in Southeast Austin

KUT News
Paula Aguilar, Leonor Vargas, George Morales, Eliseo Ramos, Bob Larson and Bene Jacobs (l to r)

Welcome to Dove Springs. 

Driving through the neighborhood, you may not realize you’re in the same city that’s home to Franklin Barbeque, Barton Springs or the Continental Club. Five miles down I-35 from the Texas Capitol lies a modest residential area in the city’s southeast corner, one of the last neighborhoods many Austin residents pass as they head to the airport. 

It’s also one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods with a history of gangs and drugs, poverty, teen pregnancy and obesity.

But it's a neighborhood filled with hardworking parents, multi-generational families and cultural diversity. There’s always been a lot of pride, but recently, residents are giving the neighborhood a voice. They’re advocating for better services, organizing events and this fall, they’ll elect a city council member to specifically represent their district.

Credit KUT News
Austin's Dove Springs neighborhood lies in the city's southeast corner.

As the city grows and changes faster than ever before, neighborhood leaders are reminding Austinites that they—and their neighborhood—are part of Austin, too.  More people move to Austin everyday, increasing the number of people unfamiliar with the overall city and its sprawling neighborhoods.

For the past ten months, KUT has brought you stories of boxers, librarians, community organizers and police officers with the same goal: helping Dove Springs turn the corner. 

A few months into the project, the neighborhood was hit with a devastating flood that damaged more than 600 homes and left five people dead.

For many, the floods were an extra burden piled on top of countless challenges. But it also forced a historically neglected community to stand up and demand to be heard.

Here are their stories.

Texas Standard reporter Joy Diaz has amassed a lengthy and highly recognized body of work in public media reporting. Prior to joining Texas Standard, Joy was a reporter with Austin NPR station KUT on and off since 2005. There, she covered city news and politics, education, healthcare and immigration.
Related Content