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Austin’s homeless strategy officer resigns after two years on the job

AUSTIN, TX. Mar. 24, 2020. An encampment of people experiencing homelessness under US 83 in north Austin during the coronavirus pandemic. Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT
Austin's homeless strategy officer, Dianna Grey, submitted her resignation this week.

Austin’s top homeless strategy official has resigned, city officials confirmed.

Dianna Grey submitted her resignation Monday. She has served as the homeless strategy officer since January 2021. Her job is to coordinate the city’s homeless response across multiple departments and organizations throughout the city.

Dianna Grey is the homeless strategy officer for the city of Austin.
City of Austin
Dianna Grey has served as Austin's homeless strategy officer since January 2021.

Grey took over as the city was grappling with record high numbers of people experiencing homelessness and in the midst of a deadly pandemic. The number of people experiencing homelessness in Austin hit a 10-year high in 2020 and has continued to grow, according to data from the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition.

Today, more than 5,000 people are considered to be unhoused, ECHO's dashboard shows.

Since taking over, Grey has helped the city implement the 2021 camping ban and navigate permanent supportive housing projects and shelter needs. The city is working to open a temporary homeless shelter in far Southeast Austin that will house up to 300 people experiencing homelessness. The city also spent nearly $6 million in federal and city dollars this year to keep the former Salvation Army shelter downtown open.

Grey is the latest in a string of employees who have left the city in recent months. Last week, Police Chief Joe Chacon announced he would retire in September. He said the decision was his own and the "right thing" to do for himself and his family.

City officials told KUT that Grey also made the decision on her own.

“She held a very challenging position as the Homeless Strategy Officer during particularly challenging times,” interim City Manager Jesús Garza said. “Her impressive portfolio of work includes formally establishing the City’s Homeless Strategy Division, building a team of dedicated staff, and positioning Austin to accomplish our goal of making homelessness brief, rare and nonrecurring. I wish her nothing but success in her future endeavors.”

In the last several months, several changes have been made to city leadership. In February, the city fired City Manager Spencer Cronk following the failed response to the ice storm. Austin Energy General Manager Jackie Sargent then retired in March.

It was not immediately clear when Grey’s last day will be.

Luz Moreno-Lozano is the Austin City Hall reporter at KUT. Got a tip? Email her at lmorenolozano@kut.org. Follow her on X @LuzMorenoLozano.
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