ATX Helps, state officials to discuss land lease for homeless shelter

Austin

Editor’s Note: The above video is from a story posted Jan. 9 regarding ATX Helps’ fundraising to build homeless shelters.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Transportation Commission and ATX Helps will discuss the possibility of a lease agreement for land on which to put a homeless shelter. That land is currently being used as a temporary shelter where about 140 people are staying.

Talks are set to take place Feb. 27, and the land ATX Helps could lease is state-owned land near U.S. Highway 183 and Montopolis. If the lease is approved, ATX Helps can build the city’s first Sprung shelter, a model of accommodations that can be put up in as little as eight weeks.

“We are excited about this important step forward in the process of providing temporary, immediate shelter to people experiencing homelessness,” said Mike Rollins, Austin Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.

“Since our launch in November, we’ve reviewed a number of sites around Austin, including many locations near downtown. While those locations were not viable for our first Sprung shelter, the TxDOT site near 183 and Montopolis has already proven itself as a workable, accessible location for people currently living on the streets,” Rollins said.

Rollins said the shelter would provide services for 150 people.

ATX Helps has been fundraising to build homeless shelters since last year, and while KXAN last reported the group was short of its ambitious $14 million goal, this is a big step toward getting a shelter in place.

“ATX Helps was created to fill gaps in the spectrum of services available to people in Austin who are experiencing homelessness,” Rollins said. “As we’ve said from the beginning, this shelter will be part of the solution along with other efforts. It’s imperative that we work together to support fellow Austinites who are most vulnerable.”

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