City wants to expand limited storage solutions for homeless

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The city of Austin is seeking answers to one aspect of its homelessness problem that often gets overlooked: storage.

It is currently looking for a vendor that can offer lockers or other storage containers for clients of the Downtown Austin Community Court’s Intensive Case Management Program.

Solicitation documents say other features that could be included are the ability to charge phones, mail slots, ventilation, solutions for bed bugs and other security features.

“They have everything that they own with them, which makes it incredibly difficult for them to take steps forward,” said Greg McCormack, Executive Director of Front Steps, which operates the ARCH.

The city says up to $50,000 would be available for an initial seven-month period from March 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2020.

From there, the program could be funded for another four years, not to exceed $100,000 per year.

The ARCH has a waitlist of hundreds who are seeking a place to store their belongings.

However, as the ARCH converts to a strictly housing-focused shelter, the lockers and bins at its Day Resource Center will soon only be used for those receiving services there.

“The waiting list is always incredibly long,” said McCormack. “The need far outweighs what we’ve been providing the last few years.”

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