Austin community gathering donations to help the homeless as temperatures drop
AUSTIN, Texas - With temperatures quickly dropping Thursday, community members have been doing what they can to help out the homeless community to stay warm.
"Currently we have three drop off areas that people can take donations to. Both of these will be available all day and night. For one of them specifically is St Andrew's Presbyterian Church. That's opened 24 hours," says Aja Guyton with the Sunrise Navigation Center.
Multiple organizations gathered at St. Davids Episcopal Church where they saw over thousands of donations. These organizations are all helping out where they can:
- Austin Mutual Aid
- Sunrise Navigation Center
- Austin Area Urban League
- Our Shared Kitchen
- Street Forum
- Runner City
- St David’s Episcopal Church
- St Andrews Presbyterian Church
- Austin Firemans Association
- Austin Drug Users Union
- Creative Policy
- Carol’s Kindness
- Texas Harm Reduction Alliance
- Community Resilience Trust
"We're really happy to utilize our space and to partner with Trinity Center that's downstairs and The Arch that's right next door to help provide some of the things for people who plan to shelter in place," says Kristin Braun, director of community engagement, Curate.
Kristin Braun, director of community engagement at Curate, says she's amazed by the turnout of volunteers, especially with us being so close to Christmas.
"I kind of feel like I owe it to my community. I get a lot from my community, so being able to be a part of the community and give back, it's great," says Tania Carmona, local volunteer.
With temperatures reaching below freezing, Kalpesh Gala and his family have been driving around Austin dropping off supplies to the homeless.
"Wish we could do more to help the homeless in town with some blankets and toiletries. My mom even added some hands like these. So it's just a very small token, and we wish we could have done more," says Kalpesh Gala, Austin resident.
As quickly as donations have been dropped off, volunteers have been able to quickly hand them to those who need it the most.
"They've been passing out blankets, they've been passing out water, they've been passing out the information to our warming centers," says Joe King, man dealing without housing during freeze.
Volunteers know many of the homeless population don't want to enter warming centers, so they're asking for supplies that will help the homeless stay warm.
"Anything that can help people stabilize tent stakes, tents themselves, sleeping bags, anything to help them stay warm and sheltered overnight tarps," says Guyton.
For those who need outreach services, you can contact the Sunrise Hotline at 512-522-1097 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. or call 211 that is available 24 hours.