The Downtown Shelter and Social Service opened 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.
The Salvation Army is a part of the Mayor’s initiative to end veteran homelessness and works daily to help veterans experiencing homelessness get back into safe housing.
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.