The Austin Shelter for Women and Children (ASWC) is a low barrier, housing focused emergency shelter serving women and dependent children experiencing homelessness. Our goal as operator of the program is to provide “wrap-around” services designed to assist homeless women in ensuring that homelessness is brief, rare, and non-recurring.
Case management, rapid rehousing, employment assistance, computer learning lab, child care, and child/family therapy are provided on site. Based on a model of trauma-informed care, objectives focus on obtaining safe and stable housing, income necessary to support housing, and personal stability. Applicants are accepted on a first call first serve basis, and the center maintains a call-back list which has averaged more than 300 women and children for the past year.
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.
Austin Shelter for Women and Children staff provide follow -up case management in these cases for 6 to 18 months after participants are housed. The Austin Shelter for Women and Children 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.
Read about a woman’s experience of checking in to the Austin Shelter for Women and Children on pages 6-7 of our 2018 Annual Report.
The Austin Shelter for Women and Children is operated by The Salvation Army since 2001, in partnership with the City of Austin. The facility was built in 1933 and recently was renovated with City of Austin bond funding. Capacity was increased by 81 beds, a new day care center was built, ADA improvement and facility upgrades were added.