AUSTIN (KXAN) — Dress for Success Austin is relocating from its east Austin location after nearly 20 years there.
The nonprofit, which said it is dedicated to helping women secure employment through career and image consulting, is moving to a southeast Austin storefront on Oct. 11.
DFSA’s Executive Director Mia Johns cited rising rent as the reason behind the move. “As rent continues to rise throughout Austin, the organization has been forced to make the difficult decision to move from the convenient location clients were familiar with to a new office space,” a press release stated.
The new storefront will be located in Mission Plaza, at 3000 S. I-35 Frontage Rd., Suite 180.
“It’s definitely hard to leave the space we’ve been in for so long,” Johns said. “Many clients we serve come back multiple times over the years, and they’re all comfortable and familiar with the office we have now. It’s going to be a big transition, but we know that spending less on rent and focusing more of our funding on growing the workforce development programs that help our clients succeed will be best for everyone in the long term.”
According to the press release, rent at DSFA’s current office has increased 38% in the last year. Data from Redfin shows that Austin rents rose 48% from May 2021 to May 2022. Austin also set a record for median home price earlier this year, jumping 15% to $565,000 since February 2021.
DSFA believes the rising costs could be linked to gentrification of the area. They cite a report from austonia.com which said median home prices in the 78702 zip code tripled between the years of 2011 and 2014, as the area began to gentrify.
Candy Cantrell, DFSA’s director of volunteer engagement, who is also a certified Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion professional, said not only are residents being displaced, but so are vital nonprofits.
“Nonprofits like ours that provide necessary resources to combat poverty and homelessness are being forced out of crucial areas and further away from the population we serve,” Cantrell said.
DFSA’s new space will officially open for in-person services on Oct. 11. Hours of operation, services offered and volunteer opportunities will remain the same.
The organization will not offer in-person services from Sept. 21 to Oct. 10 during the moving process, but virtual services will be available. Clothing donations are paused until Nov. 8.
This move will cost an estimated $25,000. If you are interested in supporting DFSA during its move, you can make a gift of your choosing here.