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Austin Resource Center for the Homeless Distributing 200 Blankets Today

Image by Erik Reyna for KUT News

People at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless are handing out more than 200 blankets at 1 p.m. today. The cold weather has created a huge demand for blankets among homeless people, and Austinites have donated generously, ARCH interim executive director Mike Abkowitz told KUT News.

"We've been distributing blankets throughout the cold weather season, but we know there's just more and more need," Abkowitz said.

ARCH will also be disturbing bags of hand-knit hats and scarves, provided by a group of senior citizen women who call themselves the Mitzvah Knitters.

KUT reported this week how not all homeless people can find space at a shelter.

Abkowitz says they hand out about 2,500 blankets every year, and are still in need of donations. They accept only new blankets that still have store packaging.  We reported this week on one case where used blankets with bedbugs were donated to the ARCH, and that led to the policy being changed.

The ARCH also needs large, heavy-weight, weather resistance coats. Best of all is to donate cash, Abkowitz says, because then they can directly meet the needs of the homeless people they help.

If you have a donation, drop it off at the ARCH at 500 East 7th Street in downtown Austin.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.