City council approves Women and Children's Shelter renovation, expansion

The Austin City Council approved funding upgrades for the center on Thursday.

AUSTIN - The Austin City Council voted Thursday to approve a $5,376,528 contract for the renovation and expansion of the Austin Women and Children's Shelter.

The shelter's East Austin building was built in 1939 and originally used as a clinic. City staff said the building needs improvements to bring it up to code and make it ADA compliant.

Voters approved $3.8 million in renovations in the 2012 bond election. The city is issuing certificates of obligation to fund the rest of the project.

In addition to bringing the building into compliance, the restrooms, study rooms and community spaces will be renovated. A new daycare will be added to the property, doubling the capacity of children that can be in the program. A new housing wing will also be added and will add 34 beds to the shelter's capacity.

Staff with the Salvation Army, which operates the facility, said the expansion is greatly needed because the fastest growing population of people experiencing homelessness in Austin is women and children.

"The need is so great. The wait list is more than 600 women and children seeking emergency shelter and with our facility only being a 60-bed facility, clearly there's a greater need than we can provide at this point," said Jamille Ruebsahm, Director of Development for the Austin Salvation Army.

Construction is set to start in November and should be complete by February 2018.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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