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Austin kicks off a week of action to help end homelessness. Here's how to get involved.

A tent is set up near an apartment complex on East Riverside Drive last summer.
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT
A tent is set up near an apartment complex on East Riverside Drive last summer.

Community members are encouraged to take simple actions over the next several days to help get people off the streets and support ending homelessness in Austin.

The Week of Action is a collaborative campaign between the City of Austin, community advocates, the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition and its provider partners. It's the campaign's second year.

ECHO spokesperson Chris Davis said there's a lot of desire in Austin and Travis County to help those in need.

"Obviously homelessness is a visible issue here. I think a lot of times it can feel like it's too big for any one person to get involved with and make an impact." he said. "What we're trying to do is show people that it's not. Every person has a role to play in supporting folks who are living outside."

He said people don't have to make grand gestures to make a difference; it's about deciding every day to do something that will impact your neighbors and community in a positive way.

This year's Week of Action runs today through Wednesday. There's a different theme each day connected to a specific action to take.

Here's the 2022 schedule:

  • Friday — Learn about homelessness in the community
  • Saturday — Create awareness or something tangible to support a community member experiencing homelessness
  • Sunday — Share what you have created
  • Monday — Give what you can to keep momentum going
  • Tuesday — Thank the helpers all around us
  • Wednesday — Commit to continuing your advocacy year-round

Some organizations are also asking their networks to take those daily actions a step further:

  • LifeWorks is hosting a virtual discussion about functional zero — the idea that a community's homeless services system can rehouse people quickly with the goal of making homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring — for youth experiencing homelessness.
  • Caritas of Austin is asking people to create winter preparedness kits for distribution.
  • Menstrual Flux is asking people to donate period products and create menstrual supply kits. They'll be partnering with Maximizing Hope to distribute them.
  • ECHO is asking people to donate items that contribute to racial and gender equity, including Black hair products, period products and gender-neutral clothing.

Check the social media pages of homelessness service providers for more updates.

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