Austin's homeless community can now take safety into their own hands.
Monday, the group House the Homeless handed out 1,000 free whistles. Officials say their hope is if a homeless person is in trouble, they’ll be able to alert others.
According to the Austin Police Department, four homeless people have been murdered this year, two in recent weeks.
While passing out the whistles group members told the homeless if they are ever in trouble to blow the whistle three times.
Many said they're taking the advice to heart.
"If we hear the whistle blowing, we might go down there and help somebody out, especially if we hear it blowing three times," Homeless Austin resident Michael Goodman said.
Officials say homeless people often encounter more violence than you might expect. They say some are beaten up simply for their ID badges.