Salvation Army to temporarily close its downtown shelter, rearrange it to reduce coronavirus spread


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Salvation Army Austin will temporarily close its downtown shelter and has transferred all residents to isolation/quarantine or other lodging facilities as it works to better prepare its facility to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“Our number one priority is the health and safety of our clients and staff members,” said Major Lewis Reckline, Austin Area Commander. “Closing temporarily was not an easy decision, but it is a necessary decision to ensure the well-being of those who rely on us during their darkest hours.”

The Salvation Army partnered with the city of Austin to get residents a place to stay, Reckline said, and the shelter will be deep cleaned using the guidelines put out by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In total, 187 residents were moved to other facilities.

Following cleaning, beds will be reconfigured to adhere to social distancing standards.

“We are incredibly grateful for The City’s partnership to make sure our downtown shelter residents are receiving a temporary place to sleep during this time,” Reckline said.

Case managers will continue to work remotely with their clients.

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