Austin expands program to provide storage for homeless community

The City of Austin is expanding its storage service for the homeless community.

Starting July 11, the Violet KeepSafe Storage program will expand its operational hours to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week to improve access for participants. Previously the service was only available Monday through Friday from 7-10 a.m. and 3-7 p.m.

The City says that the program currently provides more than 170 homeless individuals a safe and secure place to store their belongings. The service, which is provided at no cost to participants, allows individuals to store vital documents, family memories, clothing, bedding and more.

VKS staff delivers bins to provide individuals a convenient and safe way to store their belongings, and to help ease the transition for those who are relocating. After individuals have filled their bin, staff transfers the bin to the VKS program location, and individuals can access their belongings during open program hours. 

The timeline for expanded access to VKS aligns with the beginning of Phase 3 of Proposition B enforcement.

The Violet KeepSafe Storage program also employs individuals with lived experience with homelessness, providing valuable workforce development opportunities in the community. With the expanded program hours, VKS has increased from two to five employees with lived experience.

The VKS program can serve up to 350 program participants. Individuals interested in accessing VKS services can call 512-974-4879, or may bring the items they want to store to VKS and sign up in person. The VKS program is in the former Health South Parking Garage, located at 612 E. 12th Street.

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