AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Salvation Army said it approved a one-year lease with the City of Austin to use the nonprofit’s former downtown shelter on Friday. The lease is non-renewable.
Urban Alchemy, a nonprofit that also runs the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, will run the single-adult emergency shelter at 501 8th St., according to a release. The Salvation Army will be the shelter’s landlord, while the city and Urban Alchemy will be responsible for repairs, maintenance, operations and management.
In February, The Salvation Army announced it would close its downtown shelter. It said the nonprofit “has come to the decision that they can no longer continue to offer the level and quality of care their brothers and sisters need at the facility.”
The city said the people at the now-closed shelter were relocated to other shelters, permanent housing and other housing options—ensuring no one would be forced into the streets after the shelter closed.
In June, the Austin City Council voted to enter an agreement with the Salvation Army to lease the space. At the time, the cost to operate was estimated at $1.2 million.
The Salvation Army Austin Area Command also runs an 80-bed shelter for women and children and a 212-bed shelter for families.
Recent data from the Point in Time count showed over 2,300 homeless people in Austin. The 2023 data showed about 1,300 people were sleeping outside or in cars, and about 1,100 people were sleeping in shelters or transitional housing.