Counting down: 12 for 2012

Published 8:54 am Sunday, January 1, 2012

10. A homeless shelter for Austin?

Officials have thought about the possibility for a long time, but 2012 could be the year that Austin’s Salvation Army gets a homeless shelter.

“We’re hoping for maybe a couple months, maybe, if everything goes right,” said Lt. David Amick.

The SA has been housing homeless individuals at a local motel for years. While homeless people can get as many as three nights in the motel, that’s usually not enough time to solve their problems. Though the SA will sometimes offer an extra day or two to those in dire situations, it can’t afford to do so. Amick said that’s when the organization goes financially backwards, as housing individuals seeps into the SA’s funds.

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Amick and SA officials are waiting for a needs assessment; however, they know that the Salvation Army already serves from 25 to 40 homeless each month during the fall and winter.

SA officials have looked at several buildings in Austin for a potential shelter and hope to purchase one with 10- to 15 rooms, which could cost roughly $200,000. Amick said the SA would seek donations from churches, nonprofits and local, state and federal government.