AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Austin City Council will consider purchasing the former Salvation Army Downtown Center at the Nov. 9 city council meeting to continue providing “critical” homeless services in the area, according to a memo.
The former shelter is located downtown at Red River St and will cost the city just over $15 million if they decide to acquire the retail space, per the memo.
The Salvation Army Downtown Center opened in 1988 and was the only shelter downtown dedicated to serving single women experiencing homelessness. In Feb. 2023, the Salvation Army announced it would close the shelter, saying it could “no longer continue to offer the level and quality of care their brothers and sisters need at the facility,” according to a press release.
Austin City Council voted in June to establish a year-long lease of the property from the Salvation Army for $1.2 million to bring back beds lost when it closed. The Salvation approved that lease agreement in September.
If the Austin City Council votes to purchase the space, it will save the money set aside to finish the lease, according to the memo.
“The former Salvation Army Downtown Center regularly maintained at least 100 shelter beds and had long served as the only dedicated space in the downtown area for single women experiencing homelessness. If approved, this purchase would allow for the re-establishment of that critical service on a long-term basis,” according to the memo.