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Salvation Army to close Downtown Austin homeless shelter

The organization said closing the downtown shelter will allow it to consolidate resources elsewhere.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Salvation Army is going to stop operating its Downtown Austin homeless shelter.

In a statement, officials with the shelter said:

"The downtown shelter has historically been an important cornerstone of their local services, but the facility is aging and in disrepair. After a long period of consideration and prayer, with the counsel of Advisory Board members and Austin community leaders, The Salvation Army 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 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the challenges of operating the facility with the staff and support necessary, and it is no longer tenable to continue investing in the necessary infrastructure."

They also said closing the downtown shelter will allow them to consolidate resources elsewhere.

“The Salvation Army is called to be good stewards of every dollar entrusted to them,” they said. “Leadership believes closing this facility now will allow them to ultimately provide enhanced care for a meaningful number of families, women, and children in need.”

Two other Salvation Army shelters will remain open. The organization’s Rathgeber Center for Families, which opened in 2020, will celebrate its three-year anniversary on Feb. 26, the Salvation Army said.

The Salvation Army plans to work with partners in the area to make sure everyone currently in the downtown shelter is relocated and continues to have access to homeless services.

The Salvation Army said the downtown shelter will close on March 15.

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