A city council member is being blasted for suggesting used needles found at homeless encampments throughout Austin, Texas, could be insulin.

In footage from a city council work session this week, council member Alison Alter denies that used syringes being found at camps around Austin are due to illicit drug use, claiming many homeless use needles for “health reasons.”

“I just wanted to point out, because folks are expressing concern over the needles, but people use needles for health reasons and insulin and other stuff, and I believe that’s what we were seeing, and so I just wanted to throw that out there that a lot of folks who are homeless have health issues and are using the needles for a health reason,” Alter stated.

As if realizing the absurdity of her argument, the councilwoman added, “That doesn’t make them safe to be on the ground, but that is one of the reasons that you may be finding those in those areas.”

Austin residents criticized Alter’s comments on social media, with one person pointing out insulin would have to be refrigerated.

“What planet do you live on?” one woman asked on Twitter. “Why don’t we take a field trip to an encampment and see for ourselves if those needles are for insulin.”

The councilwoman’s comments come in the wake of a fire that broke out at a massive subterranean homeless camp the size of three football fields in North Austin this week.

Gov. Greg Abbott has been a vocal critic of the city council’s homeless policies, which include allowing homeless people to camp anywhere in the city.

Last October, Governor Abbott pointed out a massive trove of used syringes found at a homeless camp during a clean-up effort organized by a group of Trump supporters in Austin.

Late last year, the governor acted on the crisis by ordering the construction of a temporary homeless shelter meant as an alternative to camping on city streets.


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An Austin homeless camp the size of 3 football fields caught fire a week after the people announced they were self-governing. Similar in fact to Monty Python’s Holy Grail’s “autonomous collective” and the dumpster fire of the Iowa Democrats.

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