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Home for the homeless | Apartment complex built to house homeless people

The 50-unit apartment complex is a first in Travis County. It's set to become a home for 50 homeless people this summer – and half of the residents will be homeless veterans.

AUSTIN, Texas — Terrace at Oak Springs is still in the construction phases, but will soon be home to 50 homeless people. 

Ellen Richards, the chief strategy officer with Integral Care, said, "Integral Care specifically serves people who are living with mental illness or substance use disorder or both, and half the people who live in this community will be veterans."

Richards said the single occupancy units will come fully furnished. 

"In addition to it being four walls, it has aspects to it that will get them on the path to recovery," Richards said, referencing the onsite integrated healthcare clinic. 

The clinic will provide primary and mental health care for those who live in the complex and for people in the community too. 

"When you think about the population of people experiencing homelessness, we’re really working with those who are chronically homeless and have the most needs, so they’re the most costly to the community in terms of the use of emergency services and other public services," Richards said.

Austin Police Department Assistant Chief Justin Newsom said there is a lack of shelter space in the city for homeless people. 

"When we break up camps, we tell people you can't camp here, but we have nowhere to send them to. And so what happens is they create a new camp somewhere, and then they get told they can't be in that spot. And so we just keep chasing this problem around the city with very few options," Asst. Chief Newsom said.

He said this complex could be a way to help homeless people gain independence and self-sufficiency. 

Richards said the complex is a "Housing First" model, which offers permanent housing to address needs of homeless people. 

"So someone can come and live here as long as they wish and as long as they’re eligible. And our goal really is to not only provide those four walls of a house but to provide a home with the rehabilitation supports that will really help someone reach their full potential," Richards said.

Richards said people can click here to donate supplies to help people feel more at home. 


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