AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin and Travis County will be operating cold weather shelters for the homeless 24/7 until this week’s wintry weather threat is over. On Tuesday officials said they’d add additional spaces for the city’s vulnerable populations to go.
“We are asking that if you can safely shelter at your home, please do. We must preserve these limited spaces for those who are vulnerable or have medical conditions,” Austin said in a release.
Here’s where people can go if they are having difficulty surviving the cold. People with pets won’t be turned away and will be helped by Animal Services.
- Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road: Austin called this its “primary” warming center. Single adults in need of shelter should report to this warming center. When Capital Metro resumes service, you can use bus routes 1, 7, 10, 20, 801, 30 to access. Rides are free for those looking for shelter. AS OF THURSDAY MORNING IT IS AT CAPACITY.
- Downtown Salvation Army Shelter, 501 E. 8th Street: Families should report here. Use Capital Metro bus routes 2, 4, 6, 7, and 10.
- Del Valle High School, 5201 Ross Road: LIMITED ROOM HERE.
- Mendez Middle School, 5106 Village Square Drive: There is limited capacity, and this is intended for Austin’s most vulnerable populations, especially those who have medical devices that need power to operate.
- Webb Middle School, 601 E. St Johns Ave.: There is limited capacity, and this is intended for Austin’s most vulnerable populations, especially those who have medical devices that need power to operate. On Wednesday, Austin ISD Police said this shelter is closed due to water issues.
- Reilly Elementary School, 405 Denson Drive: Opened Wednesday as a shelter, Austin ISD Police said, but now at limited capacity Thursday.
- Lee Elementary School, 3308 Hampton Road: Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to any families that need access to warmth or to charge medical devices. There are limited resources on site.
- Murchison Middle School, 3700 North Hills Dr.: Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to any families that need access to warmth and to charge medical devices. There are limited resources on site.
- Joslin Elementary School, 4500 Menchaca Road: Open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to any families that need access to warmth and to charge medical devices. There are limited resources on site.
- Barrington Elementary School, 400 Cooper Dr.: Open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to any families that need access to warmth and to charge medical devices. There are limited resources on site.
- Zavala Elementary School, 310 Robert T Martinez Jr St.: Open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to any families that need access to warmth and to charge medical devices. There are limited resources on site.
- The Austin Disaster Relief Network has partnered with churches in the area that are serving as shelters. They do not have full services and people should bring supplies and blankets.
Bob Nicks, a battalion chief for the Austin Fire Department and president of the Austin Firefighters Association, said he organized about 20 firefighters with 4×4 trucks to help get people to the warming shelters with the help of Austin City Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison.
If anyone needs a ride to one of the warming centers, Nicks gave out his personal cell phone number for people to call and schedule a ride. His number is (512) 217-3474.
He said the firefighters association also set up a shelter for the Coronado Hills neighborhood in northwest Austin since the union hall backs up to it.
If you are in need of transportation to one of these city warming shelters, the City of Austin urges you to call 311 or the Austin Disaster Relief Network (Phone: (512) 428-6322, Hotline: (512) 806-0800). People can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with their name, phone number, address, number of people needing transportation and any medical needs.
“Transportation resources are extremely limited, and the public is asked to reserve this resource for our most vulnerable population, especially those who require power for their medical devices,” the City of Austin said in a release Wednesday.
Separately, Chas Moore with Austin Justice Coalition said it has opened space at the Servant Church (1605 East 38th 1/2 Street) as a temporary shelter.
Austin City Council Member Kathie Tovo said Monday the city had teams reaching out to people at encampments in the last few days. In addition to five city-operated shelters, she said some churches and three Austin ISD campuses opened their doors.
“It is really important to continue to spread the word to people that the temperatures ahead of us are going to be very cold and it’s very critical that people seek shelter,” Tovo said.
Tovo said at least 400 people stayed in shelters Sunday night. Austin Emergency Management said for more information call the 24/7 hotline: (512) 305-4233.
Hays County advises you to call ahead to make sure these locations can accommodate your requests.
- H.O.M.E. Center: (512) 270-8344
Individuals need to provide their own sleeping gear for the following shelters:
- Southside Community Center (518 S Guadalupe Street, San Marcos): (512) 557-0795
- Salvation Army (300 S CM Allen Parkway, Suite 100, San Marcos): (512) 938-2596
- Hays Hills Baptist Church (1401 N Farm to Market 1626, Buda): (512) 295-3132 or (512) 845-3864
- Dripping Spring United Methodist (28900 RR 12, Dripping Springs): (512) 894-7123
- Kyle United Methodist Church (408 W Lockhart St. Kyle): (512) 415-6708
- Westover Baptist Church (1310 Advance St., San Marcos): (512) 214-2258
- First Baptist Church of Wimberley (15951 Winters Mill Pkwy, Wimberley): (432) 634-2364
Texas State University is also helping its students who are without power off campus. It is deploying shuttles to the Lantana Hall bus stop in San Marcos starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday so students on or off-campus can use the shuttles to warm up. They will be available overnight, but they ask students not to plan to spend all night there.
The City of Taylor and Taylor ISD and the Bill Pickett Educational Foundation are opening a warming center for residents at the Taylor ISD administration building at 3101 Main St. It will be open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It doesn’t have overnight capacity but is a warm place to be during the day, it said.
Williamson County is also opening up sites for oxygen-dependent people to recharge their oxygen condensers.
“These facilities are being opened to address a critical medical need and will be open specifically for these individuals only. Assuming the weather cooperates, these facilities will open again tomorrow starting at 9 a.m.”
These facilities will be open starting today:
- Open at noon: WilCo Sheriff’s Office Training Room, 508 Rock Street, Georgetown
- Open at 1 p.m.: Williamson County Inner Loop Annex, 301 S. E. Inner Loop, Georgetown
- Open at noon: Hutto Police Department, 401 Front Street, Hutto
- Open at 1 p.m.: Leander Police Department, 705 Leander Drive, Leander
Lee County, Giddings
A 24/7 warming station for residents is open at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office (2122 FM 448 in Giddings). They ask that you use the main entrance. If self-transport isn’t possible, call (979) 716-8566 or (979) 540-2700.
Comal, Guadalupe Counties
New Braunfels has established a cold weather warming center at the Civic and Convention Center (375 South Castell Avenue). It will be open at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The facility is subject to rotating power outages, but it has generators. Call the 24-hour hotline to make sure there is room for you (830) 221-4002.