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Austin is about to experience subfreezing temperatures. Here's where to stay warm.

A view of an encampment in February 2022 ahead of a hard freeze in Austin
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT

Austin is opening shelters Thursday for people in need of shelter during an arctic front that's expected to last through the weekend.

Austin Public Health said Wednesday it will open overnight shelters for people experiencing homelessness at up to three locations. Those shelters will be available through the weekend, along with four warming centers that will operate during the day.

Overnight shelters

People looking to escape overnight temperatures that could dip into the teens can go to One Texas Center at 505 Barton Springs Road from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to register for shelter.

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CapMetro is waiving fares for people going to register for shelter.

People can bring whatever they can transport to One Texas Center and then on the bus to the shelter. Pets are allowed as long as they're not aggressive.

If you stay at an overnight shelter through the day, you don't need to re-register. If you leave, you'll have to register again.

Warming centers

Daytime warming centers will also open up during the freeze. There will be four Austin Public Library sites where people can go between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

  • Little Walnut Creek Branch Library, 835 W. Rundberg Lane
  • Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 East Cesar Chavez St.
  • Turner-Roberts Recreation Center, 7201 Colony Loop Drive
  • George Morales Dove Springs Recreation Center, 5801 Ainez Drive

While the city can also open up emergency shelter locations, as it did during 2021's blackout, it does not anticipate doing so over the weekend.

How to help

If you want to volunteer, the city's Homeland Security and Emergency Management office suggests calling the Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767 to sign up for a "shelter strike team" or make a donation.

The Austin Area Urban League, which helps the city run its shelter program, is accepting clothing donations. You can go to its website for more information or go directly to the Southbridge Shelter at 2711 South I-35 in South Austin.

The Central Texas Food Bank is also accepting donations at its headquarters on 6500 Metropolis Drive. The food bank is specifically looking for peanut butter, canned tuna or chicken, canned fruit, low-sodium vegetables, non-fat dry milk, whole grain cereal, dry pinto beans and brown rice. There's more information at Central Texas Food Bank's website.

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 aweber@kut.org. Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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