Cold weather is coming to Austin, and The Salvation Army is prepared to support our homeless neighbors.
The plan (see below) has been activated for tonight, November 12, and The Salvation Army will take additional women in shelter. Additional men will be transported to local churches.
Winter weather can pose problems for the homeless. When the temperature drops to 35/32 (wet/dry) degrees and the homeless are outside in the elements, they need a safe warm place to sleep. On any given night, there are 289 beds occupied at The Salvation Army Shelter in downtown Austin and another 60 or more at the Austin Shelter for Women and Children.
On cold weather nights we work together with The City of Austin, Front Steps, several other local organizations, Capital Metro and local churches to provide up to 400 additional primary spaces in area churches and secondary shelter spaces in recreation centers.
The Salvation Army is accepting donations to support our ongoing support for the homeless in Austin as we work to help them get off the streets and into their own housing. Click here to make an online donation: http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/donate-now/.
If you want to donate warm weather clothing, please take mittens, gloves, jackets, caps or other items to the downtown shelter at 501 East Eighth Street.
So how does this process work?
- When the temperature drops to 35/32 (wet/dry) degrees, and the homeless are outside in the elements, they need a safe warm place to sleep.
- There are approximately 400 additional primary shelter spaces that can accept the homeless on cold nights
- Two organizations contact the City Duty Officer by 1:00PM if church shelter is needed and/or park shelter may be needed. The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) and Front Steps are responsible for this action
- Capital Metro is the transportation agent who picks up and delivers the homeless at 7th Street and Neches
- All additional homeless persons, who are not already accommodated by the ARCH or The Salvation Army, will assemble inside The Salvation Army shelter
- The Salvation Army will determine which clients will stay at the downtown shelter and which ones will go to other shelters
- The Salvation Army provides breakfast the next morning for those returning on Capital Metro buses
Who makes the decision to transport the homeless on cold winter nights? Two organizations contact the City Duty Officer by 1:00 p.m. if church shelter is needed and/or park shelter may be needed. The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) and Front Steps are responsible for this action. The City Duty Officer contacts Capital Metro which is responsible for transportation.
How long can the homeless remain at the church/park shelters? The homeless are picked up at 7th Street and Neches. The pick-up time could be as early as 6:00 p.m. and as late as 9:30 p.m. depending on the circumstances. They are picked up at 6:00 a.m. the next morning.