AUSTIN (KXAN) — A storage space for those in Austin who experience homelessness will move indoors starting Jan. 18.

The Violet KeepSafe Storage Program (VKS) provides daily access to free storage services.

The City of Austin said Tuesday VKS was moving to the former Austin Municipal Court building at 700 E. 7th St.

According to the city, VKS will open at 7 a.m. on Jan. 18 at its current location at 612 E. 12th St. in the former HealthSouth parking garage. VKS will close at 9 a.m. so crews can move.

VKS will reopen at 5 p.m. on Jan. 18 on the first floor of the former Municipal Court building.

The court moved out of that building in 2020.

The VKS program is run by the Downtown Austin Community Court (DACC). It operates seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The city said people are being told about the move when they use VKS, DACC and also through the Collaboration Technologies for Organizations Serving the Homeless (CTOSH) system.

According to the city, CTOSH “provides real-time updates regarding homeless services to partners and service providers across the community”.
“This program, which has been up and running since December 2020, provides a vital service for hundreds of individuals experiencing homelessness who need a safe place to store their personal belongings including vital documents, family memories, clothing, bedding, and more,” said Robert Kingham, Manager for Community Court Operations at the DACC in the city release. “We look forward to continuing the service at its new location.”
“The program is currently operating in an outdoor setting, which can be challenging in inclement weather, hot summer months and cold winter months for program participants and staff,” Pete Valdez, Administrator for the Downtown Austin Community Court explained in the city announcement. “The new location will allow for an indoor, climate-controlled environment, which will also improve conditions for storing belongings and has restrooms and running water accessible for staff and program participants.”
The city said it wanted to move the program indoors before February, which it said was historically the coldest month of the year in Austin.