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Salvation Army Expands Its Women's Shelter In East Austin

Thomas McConnell
Salvation Army

Salvation Army, one of the largest service providers for homeless women and children in Austin, is adding thousands of square feet to its shelter in East Austin.

The expansion includes adding a 4,900-square-foot residential wing to the 17,000-square-foot facility, as well as a 3,200-square-foot standalone child-care facility. Construction was paid for with money from Austin's 2012 municipal bond to address homelessness.

Jan Gunter, deputy development director for Salvation Army Austin, said the child-care center will help working mothers transition out of homelessness.

"For families that are working and trying to overcome homelessness, child care, of course, is one of the big problems they have to solve, if you will," Gunter said. "And so, having it here at the shelter is just a tremendous gift."

Related: Family Homelessness In Austin Is A 'Serious Crisis,' Says Salvation Army

She said the additions to the Tannehill Lane facility will increase the Salvation Army's number of beds for clients in Austin to 325 and address its limited space.

"We've been averaging, for the past 12 months, more than 300 women and children on our callback list, trying to get into shelter," she said. "And our shelters are operating at 100-plus percent capacity. So the additional space is greatly needed."

The Salvation Army, along with city and county representatives, officially unveiled the upgraded shelter at a ceremony this morning.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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