ARCH

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley, left, and the Downtown Austin Alliance's Bill Brice listen to interim Homelessness Strategy Officer Veronica Briseño at the forum on Tuesday.
Richie Loria for KUT

As the city adjusts to new rules for panhandling, camping or sitting or lying down in public, the Downtown Austin Alliance hosted a forum Tuesday to discuss the road ahead for dealing with homelessness and plans to expand emergency shelter access across the city.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

What’s the first food item that jumps into your head when you think of Texas? BBQ? Queso? Breakfast tacos?

All reasonable choices. But you’d be missing the obvious, a food item that bears the name of the state: Texas toast.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

An effort to reduce crowds loitering outside the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless has made downtown safer, local service providers say. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Service providers are taking a new approach to addressing homelessness in downtown Austin, focusing particularly  on the area around the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH). 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

About two months ago, Miguel Alfonso moved to Texas from the East Coast and wound up in Austin. He was looking for work, and in the meantime was sleeping in his car, which he would park downtown. Then his car was towed. He couldn't afford to get it back from impound, so he began sleeping on the street at night, usually downtown, usually near 6th and Nueces.

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.