May 8, 2020

Proactive measures to safeguard staff and residents

Austin, TEXAS. (May 8, 2020) – The Salvation Army Austin has established proactive measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 at all their emergency shelter facilities, with guidance from Austin Public Health, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

“As we continue to adjust to the new norm, our number one priority remains consistent: the health and safety of our clients and staff members,” says Major Lewis Reckline, Austin Area Commander. “Our commitment to our mission of moving families into self-sufficiency has not changed.”

Daily, The Salvation Army Austin will utilize the Austin Community Screening Tool to screen all staff and residents for symptoms and exposure to COVID-19 before allowing entry to one of its emergency shelters. As part of the screening procession, The Salvation Army will take the temperature of each person; staff, adult residents and children, upon arrival to shelter each day. If residents who answer yes to any of the screening questions or have a temperature of 100.4°F or greater, they will be assessed for possible placement in an onsite or offsite isolation facility.

Salvation Army staff members stay up-to-date on the latest guidance to providers by visiting the Health and Human Services COVID-19 page.

Salvation Army shelters:

The Downtown Social Services Center (downtown shelter)

Austin Shelter for Women and Children

The Rathgeber Center for Families

Salvation Army policy:

The Salvation Army can neither confirm nor deny specific details regarding any program participant due to strict client confidentiality policies.

The Salvation Army will continue to:

  • Use proper handwashing technique
  • Proper sneeze/cough technique (in elbow)
  • Encouraging those with possible symptoms or exposure to self-isolate and reduce the risk of possible transmission
  • Deep clean all areas in our 3 shelters around the clock

The following additional precautions have been added on March 4, 2020:

  • The Salvation Army has put preventative measures in place to make the safety and support for our staff and clients a priority
  • The Salvation Army is spreading out shelter beds as much as possible for “social distancing”
  • Additional self-care signage and additional access to handwashing stations in the 3 shelters
  • Case management meetings with shelter clients are being conducted over the phone to comply with social distancing

Physical donations (cleaning supplies and PPE) can be dropped off or mailed to The Salvation Army’s Area Command (4700 Manor Road Austin, TX 78723) between the hours of 10a-2p, or to make a monetary donation, visit

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood

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Austin TX Media Contact:
Jason Whaley
Community Relations and Communications Manager
[email protected]
512-634-5910 Office

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