Archived Story

Help for Austin’s homeless?

Published 6:00pm Saturday, December 17, 2011

Salvation Army discussing shelter

The amount of homeless in Austin may not be as severe as other cities, but the problem has more people realizing the need for a shelter.

Ask anyone at the Salvation Army. They’ve been tossing around the idea of a shelter for years, but in the coming months, hope to make a decision of making that a reality.

“We’re interested in doing it, but we just haven’t been moving forward fast enough yet,” Lt. David Amick said.

Kim Hallman, volunteer coordinator at the Salvation Army, has seen the organization spend more money on housing recently, and that’s tough during the organization’s busiest time.

The Salvation Army currently houses people or groups at a hotel for one night if they need a place to stay, or up to three nights if they need to figure out where they are going. But the situation isn’t always that easy.

In some cases, they will work with people to give them an extra night or two, but that drains funds which could be used for other services.

If a shelter were to become a reality in Austin, it would take a lot of support from local churches and other organizations, Amick said. Amick hopes discussions with city officials or other charitable organizations are just around the corner.

Amick and other Salvation Army officials had several ideas of where they would like to open a shelter, but some of those locations have already been purchased or are just inconvenient. Furthermore, the Salvation Army volunteers have been hustling to take care of current issues with the season.

For more on these developments, look to the Herald this week.


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