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Austin Shelter for Women and Children

Travis County Commissioners Approve Sale of Land to Philanthropist Dick Rathgeber, Pave Way for New Women & Children’s Shelter

Austin Shelter for Women and Children

AUSTIN—Today the Travis County Commissioners unanimously approved the sale of 7.5 acres of surplus, county-owned land on Tannehill Lane to the sole bidder, Mr. Dick Rathgeber. Rathgeber, who is Chairman of The Salvation Army of Austin’s Capital Campaign, has committed to donating the land to The Salvation Army for construction of a new women and children’s shelter. The land is adjacent to the Austin Shelter for Women and Children, which is operated by The Salvation Army and funded by the City of Austin. Following the vote, The Salvation Army released the following statement from Lt. Col. Henry Gonzalez, Salvation Army Area Commander:

“There is an invisible crisis of family homelessness in Austin, and today’s vote will help us address this challenge for our great city. We are deeply grateful for and humbled by Mr. Rathgeber’s generosity and vision to care for the most vulnerable of our citizens. We are pleased to have worked collaboratively with the Travis County Commissioners to see this vote come to fruition. Not only will the location of the new shelter contribute to the welcoming, campus-like environment we have cultivated for the existing shelter, this vote will also allow us to gain up to 35 percent efficiency by co-locating the facilities. Tens of thousands of women and children will eventually have access to services customized to meet their needs in a nurturing environment to help them move from crisis to self-sufficiency. Today’s vote is a win for Travis County, the City of Austin, The Salvation Army, and most of all, for the women and children who will find safe haven and a fresh start in this new facility.”

On October 14, 2015, The Salvation Army of Austin launched the public phase of its first capital campaign in 27 years by announcing it had raised $10 million of a $14 million goal. That announcement kicked off a six-week awareness campaign, Invisible Austin, to draw attention to the crisis of family homelessness in Austin. Frost Bank has agreed to support a social media campaign designed to raise public awareness of and engagement with the capital campaign. Every time the hashtag, #InvisibleAustin, is used on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and The Salvation Army Austin is tagged in the post, Frost Bank will give $10 to the capital campaign up to $50,000. For more information about the campaign or how you can get involved, visit www.InvisibleAustin.org and help solve the crisis of women and children experiencing homelessness.

11-17-2015_Statesman Editorial

 

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 126 years in the Austin area. Locally thousands of people receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, to relief for disaster victims, rehabilitation for the addicted, clothing and shelter to those experiencing homelessness and case management to help people move from crisis to stability. Eighty-two cents of every dollar The Salvation Army Austin spends is used to support those services in Travis and Williamson Counties. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org. Facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin, Twitter.com/SalArmyAustin or Instagram.com/SalArmyAustin.

 

NHHAW National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week 2014

NHHAW National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is held each year the week before Thanksgiving. This is a time for us all to start to think about what we are thankful for, and a perfect time to share our compassion with our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness.

This year, National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is November 15-23, 2014.

The Salvation Army Austin is participating in National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week not only to bring greater awareness to our community, but also to help to promote the national endeavor to end hunger and homelessness. The plight of those without a home, or those living in poverty, can be both lonely and difficult.

Women and Children Experiencing Homelessness

Did you know that more than 65% of the people The Salvation Army Austin serves who are experiencing homelessness are women and children? Women and children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in our community.

Below are two ways that you can make a difference for these women and children – and others in our community during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

Please consider sharing your efforts on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, using #NHHAW and tag @SalArmyAustin or Facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin.

Diaper Drive for the Homeless

The public is invited to donate diapers for families who are experiencing homelessness. Diapers can be donated at The Salvation Army Downtown Shelter and Social Services Center at 501 East Eighth Street on Thursday, November 20, from 9 am to 4:30 pm. OR donate at any of the four Salvation Army Family Stores in Austin or Round Rock on Thursday, November 20. See our Family Store page for locations and store hours: http://bit.ly/FamilyStore . Each person who donates will receive a coupon to our Austin Salvation Army Family Stores.

Food Drive for the Hungry

Wolf Ranch Chick-Fil-A in Georgetown will be accepting donations of canned goods all day Monday, November 17 for The Salvation Army food pantry in Williamson County. Those who donate three cans of food will receive a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich. A special family time from 5-7 pm will include a visit by the Chick-Fil-A Cow and the Baby Cow along with a performance by The Salvation Army brass band.

The Salvation Army is prepared to house additional homeless people on cold nights.

No One Should Have To Sleep Outside in the Cold

The Salvation Army is prepared to house additional homeless people on cold nights.

The Salvation Army is prepared to house additional homeless people on cold nights.

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://salvationarmyaustin.org/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.