Sue with Daughter

When you’re the one who needs it, shelter is the most important thing in the world that day.

There are a lot of reasons people need help with housing. Sometimes life doesn’t turn out the way we planned. Other times we experience unexpected circumstances, such as job loss or medical debt. With one in six people living in poverty today, homelessness is not predictable or exclusive to a certain “type” of person. It could happen to anyone.

When you need a roof over your head for the night, The Salvation Army emergency shelters are here to help. Hundreds of people sleep safely every night in the Austin area because of these programs.

Click the tabs below to reveal a description of our two emergency housing shelters in the Austin area:

Emergency Housing

The Downtown Shelter and Social Service Center.

Opening in 1987, The Downtown Shelter and Social Service Center, downtown at 501 East 8th Street, provides emergency shelter for more than 242 women, men and families with children on a nightly basis. 3,800 persons enter emergency shelter annually. Approximately 800 meals are served daily to residents and persons in the community. Residents are provided shelter anywhere from seven days to three months.

In addition to basic needs services, residents are offered access to collocated community programs including Goodwill, Veterans Outreach, a Community Care Clinic/ Medical Assistance Program and Narcotics Anonymous The Salvation Army also provides a broad array of on-site supportive services i.e. case management, counseling, life skills training, educational programs, outsourced child care, and a community chapel, a comprehensive Employment Services Program offers job search assistance and support as well as a transitional shelter option for new workers. Residents needing longer term support services are referred to the Passages Program and Rapid ReHousing Program for six to 18 months of housing assistance, case management and support services i.e. subsidized child care.

Funding for The Social Services Center comes from city, county, state, federal, and private sources. The Austin Salvation Army operates two emergency shelters and is one of the largest providers of emergency shelter and basic needs services for homeless and low income people in the Central Texas area.

Austin Shelter for Women & Children

Austin Shelter for Women and Children (ASWC) is an emergency shelter program for women and children who are experiencing homelessness. The ASWC is funded by the City of Austin and operated by The Salvation Army . The shelter has a capacity of 60 beds (54 women with children and six single women).

The Austin Shelter for Women and Children is located at 4523 Tannehill Lane in East Austin on five acres of property which is owned by Travis County. The facility includes a licensed child care center for children 18 mo. to 4 years, 20 bedrooms, a full service kitchen/dining area, computer learning center for adults and children, and a community garden.

Applicants are accepted on a first call first serve basis, and the center maintains a call-back list. The ASWC strives to provide wrap-around services (case management, child/family therapy, employment assistance, life skills training and child care) in an effort to help clients move from crisis to stability.

During an average stay of approximately 90 days, clients work on plans to acquire permanent housing and increase their skills and income. Many are linked to rapid rehousing, transitional and permanent housing opportunities through The Salvation Army’s collaborative initiatives such as the Passages Program. ASWC staff provide follow -up case management in these cases for 6 to 18 months after participants are housed. The ASWC has a highly qualified staff of social work, counseling and educational professionals who work as an interdisciplinary team. The focus on trauma-informed services, health/wellness, and connection to mainstream housing and employment resources contribute to the successful percentage of exits to safe and stable housing